I read a question and answer piece in the Metropolitan section of the New York Times that really stuck with me. Ginia Bellafante interviews the playwright Lucy Thurber about her play, Transfers, currently playing at Lucille Lortel on Christopher Street in the West Village. Thurber, who escaped a violent home, found theater saved her life.
After reading the piece, we bought tickets to see the play. The play is about two young men, from the Bronx, who have seen and lived through their own issues of violence, missing parents, anger and have managed to make it out on the other end with the opportunity to get to a good college on a scholarship. It just isn’t that easy.
Education is touted as the only way to raise yourself out of a bad place but what happens when you don’t get in? What is the next direction to move your life forward from where you came and don’t want to return to? Even after you get into the top school on a scholarship attending classes with people who have zero idea what your world was like before entering the class is a whole other set of issues. Privilege can be completely blind to the realities of kids who don’t have the means to game the SATs with tutoring and much much more.
This is a really powerful play, insanely well written, that deals with the realities of a world that many people never see. If you are lucky, getting into a school can be a step forward, but it isn’t the panacea that we somehow believe cures all the problems of the past.