Rate My Professors.com
With respect to my solo show, “This Gonna Be on the Test, Miss?” my inspiration comes from the students in my community college remedial English classroom: their stories, follies, naiveté, apathy, struggles, honesty, and resilience.
The fifty-five year-old grandmother, the veteran, the single mother of three living in a shelter, the student snoring in the back of the classroom because of her bi-polar medication, and the immigrant students from all the corners of the world inspire me.
You just made me tear-up. Thank you. Tell me more.
My frustration with trying to explain what I teach (Remedial English is for dummies, right?) and more particularly whom I teach (What do you mean your students don’t do the work or buy the book?) and bumping into the cultural narrative, characterized by a Hollywood portrayal of education have also inspired me as an artist and storyteller to bring awareness of the realities of the public urban community college.
And on a deeper level, the issues surrounding education and class and economics and the typically negative view of community college students, particularly those who are academically under-prepared have inspired me to write this play and give a voice to this adult student population that is virtually voiceless and to make visible an academic environment that is virtually invisible.
That’s great. Why do it with independent theater?
When I think of independent theater, I think of theater as being free from the dependency of box office, of perfection, of star power, of the constraints of, let’s say, commercial theater. I see independent theater as positioned to nurture new playwrights, directors, actors, and audiences. It is a safe space where boundaries are bent; the chaos of creation is encouraged; product is, perhaps, secondary to process; and, yes, failure is okay.
As a new playwright and actor with a still-evolving theatrical piece, independent theater is the most appropriate place for my solo show.
THIS GONNA BE ON THE TEST, MISS?
WRITTEN BY AND STARRING RONNA LEVY
DIRECTED BY TYLER SPICER
MITF: SUMMER 2017
THE JEWEL BOX AT THE WORKSHOP THEATER
312 W.36TH STREET, NYC
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: MON 7/24, 6:00PM; THURS 7/27, 8:30PM; SAT 7/29, 2:30PM
Rate My Professors.com
Welcome to Community College remedial English, where it’s my job for the next 12 weeks to teach you what you should’ve learned over the past 12 years.
So here’s Ronna’s story: An aspiring actress moves to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue her dreams. To makes ends meet, she takes a job as an adjunct instructor in a downtown Los Angeles community college, teaching “Basic Sentence Writing and Paragraph Building.” Determined not to let this teaching job interfere with auditions, the aspiring actress indifferently enters this Remedial English classroom only to have her life changed by this group of academically under-prepared and economically disadvantaged students who exhibit a hunger and desire to learn despite their complex and chaotic lives. She loves teaching. A few years later, she moves back home to New York, reunites with her boyfriend whom she left to pursue her acting, and lands a job in a Brooklyn community college, (Kinsborough Community College) teaching the same Remedial English to the same academically under-prepared and economically disadvantaged students.
She spies an ever-growing gap between academia and reality. This is her story.