Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review of Collaboraction's Forgotten Future.

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Forgotten Future. It was directed and written by Sarah Moeller and the co-writers were Adam Seidel and Michele Stine. The original version was co-directed by John Wilson. It is about three different children whose names are Lauren (Leah Aberman), Carolina (Esme Ayvar-Perez) and Isaac (Tyrese Hall) and their teachers Mr. Wright (JP Pierson), Mrs. Fischer (Susie Griffith), and Mrs. Mendoza (Jazmin Corona) and their moms and dads (Jon Aberman, Antonia Arcely, and Anji White) and what it was like going through the hardest year in Chicago public schools. And it is about how we need to change Chicago public schools and help them work a different way. Lauren works too hard; Carolina works too little because she doesn't like being at the school and she doesn't do well on her tests; Isaac's problem is being bullied a lot at his new school. I think that they were really trying to make a good message about Chicago public schools. I understand we need to change the schools. I have a lot of friends who are in public schools, and I want them to be more happy in their school system. And I know I am not an expert on this stuff because I don't go to public schools, so it was good to learn about it. My favorite parts were the parts when they were telling a story. The parts that were not as effective were when they were yelling at me about things that a single person cannot change. But then I did like the parts where you were just transferred into someone else's life for a little bit. Then it reminded me some of Exit Strategy, another play about Chicago public schools and how they needed to be changed, but that one was comedic in some ways and you didn't feel like you were being yelled at.

I think it was a good idea to have kids in the show playing the kids because then you really get a sense of what these children actually think about the schools and their lives. That made it more believable. One of my favorite moments was when Carolina watched a bunch of World War II movies and that is what she gave her report on even though most of those movies weren't really accurate and they weren't what the assignment was about. Mr. Wright wanted them to read some of the books he had given them. That showed that she did not like to read and that the teacher was not giving assignments that his students would like. He could have told her to read a book and then see how much it was like what was in the movies about World War II. Her report was wrong, but it was still funny.

I really liked the relationship between Isaac and his mom (White). I thought it was very sweet. I liked how much it seemed like they loved each other and how much she stood up for him even though her life was already pretty hard. I think it was fair how she treated the teacher Mrs. Fischer because the teacher wasn't helping her kid. She didn't yell at her, she just told her that she didn't like the way the school was operating. Mrs. Fischer says she will help him and asks his mom what he likes. And she says that he likes superheroes. So then Mrs. Fischer starts reading comic books, and I think that was a good way to make him feel more at home because then he would feel like his teacher likes some of the same things as him.

Mrs. Mendoza just didn't have as big of problem as the other teachers because she was at a better school. Her problem was that she couldn't teach the children anything else besides what was going to be on the test. I guess that problem needs to be solved, but it is not as big of a problem as your students not liking you at all or you feeling like you've let down your students because they've been bullied around and you don't have enough computers or things like that. I think that these are very big problems and they need to be solved. Maybe you can solve them by changing how the schools get funded. If the street doesn't have any money, then the school doesn't have any money so then the people who are living there can't give any of the money they are using to live so that their kids can have better schooling. If every school had the same amount of money, then all the schools would have enough to keep teaching people so then the public schools would be a better place.

I really really loved the set (by Ashley Woods). I thought it looked like an actual classroom, which I thought was super awesome. The set makes you feel like you are actually in a school which made it more effective. You felt like you were actually experiencing what these kids were experiencing. Then the teachers would talk to you too. Whatever side you were sitting on, you had a teacher assigned to you.

People who would like this show are people who want Chicago public schools to be better, want kids to have better bonding with their teachers and parents, and want kids not to feel stupid if they don't get amazing grades. I thought this show was a good experience for me and I think I agree with most of what they are saying.

Photos: Joel Maisonet

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