Theater Alliance Partners with Women at Calvary to Explore “Broke-ology”

broke-webEvery Monday afternoon in July, a group of women at Calvary settled in to read. Books in hand, characters highlighted, the women worked with a volunteer to read a script – the play was Broke-ology, now showing at our neighborhood’s newest theater, the Anacostia Playhouse.

On August 16, Theater Alliance opened Broke-ology, the first show at the new Anacostia Playhouse.  Theater Alliance is a local company on a mission to “develop, produce, and present socially conscious, thought-provoking work that fully engages our community.”

Katie Ryan, Education and Outreach Director for Theater Alliance, lead a LEAP session at Calvary every Monday for the month of July. At the beginning of each session, women were assigned their characters for the afternoon. Over the course of the month, the group of women read the full play and discussed the characters, the plot, and the implications of the story.

Education Coordinator Elaine Johnson says that Ennis King was the favorite character. “Everybody wanted to read his lines.”

During the play, the character of Ennis King explains that broke-ology is “a complex new science that examines two things. One, being broke. Two, staying alive despite your brokeness.” Broke-ology  was written by Nathan Louis Jackson and tells the story of the King family and their journey through illness, loss, responsibility and love.

Last Friday, after a month of discussing the play, a dozen women attended the full production at the new Anacostia Playhouse. Joined by two Calvary staff members and two volunteers, the group saw the characters they had read brought to life.

Elaine commented, “A lot of knowing looks were shared as the women anticipated the action of the play. At one point one of the women leaned over to me and said ‘Elaine! I read this scene. I read THESE lines!’”

Afterwards, the group stayed for a lively talkback with the cast and director. Women were able to ask questions about the story and about the process of rehearsing and producing a play.

One of the women who participated in the reading group was so inspired by the storytelling, she has started writing her own play. Another woman commented after the performance that this was the first play she had ever seen.

We’re thrilled to have partnered with Theater Alliance for this wonderful opportunity. We’re looking forward to the rest of this season at the Anacostia Playhouse!

Broke-ology will be playing for two more weeks, through September 8. Performance times and tickets may be found here. Note that the Thursday evening performances are pay-what-you can. Please support the new Anacostia Playhouse and Theater Alliance by seeing the show!

Recent Posts

Back to Blog
December 2, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Natalia Li

“Not only do I get to see them succeed, but I also learn from them in the process.” Natalia Li takes time out of her busy schedule to fulfill not one, but two volunteer roles at Calvary…
January 7, 2019

Volunteer Spotlight: Sirisha Bonda

Sirisha Bonda (right) with Elaine Johnson, Calvary’s Senior Manager of Education & Programs Sirisha Bonda was introduced to Calvary through her fellowship with Service Never Sleeps (SNS), a nonp…
January 21, 2019

Reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since 1986, Americans have observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a way to honor the life & achievements of the civil rights leader. To celebrate, women at Calvary Women’s Services took a…