Challenging production featuring GCAA students taking its message to NYC
Challenging production featuring GCAA students taking its message to NYC
Posted on 01/26/2015
GCAA logo“People don’t believe it happens, especially in their own city.”

Sometimes what is considered “challenging” is what makes a play so compelling that it receives rave reviews and sells out four times.

The challenging material of the play “Cover” involves trafficking, a shelter that helps girls adjust to life away from trafficking and how St. Louis is among the top 20 cities in the U.S. for this problem. There are no illicit scenes in the play. There are no men in the play. It is based on actual testimonies and real-life situations.

The production includes a mix of high school girls, college age and adult women. Four students from Grand Center Arts Academy were chosen from auditions for roles in “Cover” – Taz Edwards, sophomore; MyaSia Kisart, sophomore; Maria Pena, junior; and Rachel Yarbrough, junior.

Brandon Riley, a GCAA theatre arts teacher, is also an assistant director of the show. The production is an original work created by Joy Powell. She wrote it for her doctoral dissertation at Missouri Baptist University.

The play has received so much interest that it’s been requested by companies and organizations who specialize in the type of work to build awareness of trafficking and to help girls and women. It’s been requested throughout St. Louis, in Chicago and in Nevada.

“The play brings awareness to an issue we don’t want to face. We don’t necessarily want to believe these things are happening, even in our own city,” said Riley. “If we can’t reach people with a conscience, we are leaving it up to less capable people.”

This spring, they are taking the message to New York City. The performance is scheduled on March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“Having a chance to perform in a theater in New York City is an amazing opportunity for anyone, but especially for this group of girls,” said Riley.

To offset the travel and hotel expenses, and to help send the students from GCAA, the play is having two fundraising shows at Missouri Baptist University Recital Hall. The shows are Saturday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 1 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.

All of the proceeds will go toward travel for the cast and to benefit the Covering House, a shelter in the St. Louis area.

For details - cover nyc postcard2.docx.pdf