New Play Examines Racial Issues among College Women

For immediate release
March 14, 2001


SOUTH HADLEY, Massachusetts--Mount Holyoke College hosts Between Sisters: Healing the Wounds between Black and White Women, an original play that takes the audience on a theatrical journey examining race and stereotypes, on Wednesday, April 4th and Thursday, April 5th at 7:00 p.m., in Chapin Auditorium on campus. Admission is free and no tickets are required. For more information, call 413-538-2088.

Created and directed by Beth Popelka and Monica L. Williams, Between Sisters is a two-act performance that begins with exclamations of stereotypes and personal monologues designed to uncover and bring to light deep-seated racial issues and feelings that are rarely verbalized. With these issues now brought to the forefront, the second act finds the women prepared to engage in hone4t dialogue asking questions of each other that they may have never before asked. Immediately following the performances, there will be a dialogue on race and stereotypes.

Between Sisters borrows its theatrical techniques from Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, a workshop series that uses imaginative theatre to encourage audience participation and open dialogue, promote awareness of social situations and examine personal attitudes. Although there is no direct interaction between the audience and the Between Sisters cast during the performance, the audience is strongly encouraged to respond aloud to issues that have a personal effect.

The two-hour performance, which includes a 15-minute intermission, includes the following Mount Holyoke College students: Diana Archuleta '03, Lori Feldstein '04, Kameron Franklin '04, Zahra Khan '03, Julie Klein '02, Stefani Kovacovsky '01, Melanie LeFavre '04, Georgia Love '02, Adrienne Pope '04, Jennifer Roberts '02, and Devika Sahdev '01.

Popelka and Williams are 1998 graduates of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where each received a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting and where they conceived and developed the idea for Between Sisters. The play, which made its debut in 1996 at Wright State, is based primarily on their personal experiences as black and white female students attending the university. Mount Holyoke College is the third location to host Between Sisters in the authors' efforts to take the production to other colleges and universities nationwide. Between Sisters is sponsored by Mount Holyoke College's Office of Residential Life, and the Offices of the Dean of the College and Associate Dean of the College/Dean of Students.

Mount Holyoke is a private, nondenominational liberal arts college for women located in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Founded in 1837 by revolutionary educator Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke was the first of the Seven Sister colleges, the women's counterpart to the formerly all-male Ivy League schools.