Throughout the year, the students in CTT perform for over 10,000 people to encourage discussion of a variety of difficult social issues. The students have a final performance of “Training Day” at St. Paul’s Central High School, 275 North Lexington Pkwy., on May 24 at 7 p.m.
Jan Mandell and CTT have been bringing the seldom-heard voices of students to the forefront for more than three decades.
This year's class has been working with highly esteemed artists including Amiee Bryant, Marion McClinton, Patricia Brown and Ahanti Young. The student-created original play, “Training Day,” is high energy and incorporates singing, dancing, and influences of hip-hop. It confronts the struggles that high school students face both within and outside of the classroom, including depression, abuse, racism, sexism and issues surrounding respect for different cultures; all of which impact educational experiences and outcomes.
Their material comes from first-hand experiences. One piece, “In the Hallway” brings forth issues surrounding the school-to-prison-pipeline, which many of the students are unsettlingly familiar with; many of them have incarcerated family members or have been in trouble with the criminal justice system themselves.
Throughout this semester, the students have toured at many different schools and lead workshops locally and nationally.
Upcoming show dates are May 14 at Carleton College, 1 N. College St., Northfield, Minn, May 15 at Ramsey Junior High, 1700 Summit Ave., St. Paul, May 16 at Linwood Monroe, 810 Palace Ave., St. Paul and May 21 at Plainview Elementary School, 600 W. Broadway, Plainview Minn.