Identity, Culture Explored in One-Man-Show on MLK Day
Posted 01/25/2016 10:00AM
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Berkshire welcomed educator, actor, writer, and speaker Steven Tejada to All-School Meeting on Monday, January 18. Mr. Tejada has toured throughout the country with his one-man show “Boogie Down Journeys,” which relays the experiences of a boy from the South Bronx who is leaving his tight-knit neighborhood for college in Connecticut.
Through his theater work, Mr. Tejada illuminates the experiences of people of color while fostering connection and understanding through the use of both comedy and drama. In a powerful monologue from “Boogie Down Journeys,” performed in Allen Theater at Berkshire, Mr. Tejada focused on the experience of a character named Tito as he is sending his best friend off to pursue his dreams outside of the Bronx neighborhood that defines, inspires and challenges each of the boys in different ways.
The performance explored identity and how it is often tied to a sense of place or a culture, and how stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can lead to life-defining experiences. Tito does not tell his friend not to go; instead, he challenges him to come back and “do good” for the community that nurtured him for all those years.
Mr. Tejada grew up in the South Bronx and later attended a prestigious boarding school in Manhattan, setting him on his path to Wesleyan and a life in education.
“Identity is both personal and global,” states Dean of Diversity & Inclusion LeRhonda Greats. “We all have a unique story to tell and it was so amazing to have Steven Tejada here with us sharing both his characters from his one-man show but also his own personal journey on Martin Luther King Day. Dr. King would be proud to know that we took a few minutes out of the day to showcase some of the challenges but mostly the beauty of living the dream that he spoke of way back in 1963.”