Copyright KJ Group 2016
Dandelions in the Wind brings the history of racism and civil rights into a modern format. Music varies from spoken word to slave chants, and from gospel songs to toe-tapping dance numbers. Images from the Civil Rights era create a changing backdrop for the events unfolding on stage, but the underlying question is “Where are we now...today?"
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"A reminder that we can never be complacent" - Kate Gilderdale, Stouffville Free Press
For more reviews go to REVIEW PAGE
I brought my Grade 7 classes to see the show. It truly helped them understand some of the social challenges that have been part of the black experience. We had so much rich discussion on issues of social justice - racism, prejudice, segregation.... and what to do about it- advocate, protest, educate, accept. Amazing experience!
- Brandy Henry, Thomas L Wells PS, Scarborough, Toronto (TDSB)
The feedback from students was overwhelming, they absolutely loved the play! They particularly enjoyed the aspect of connecting history with the current events of today's political climate, highlighting how discrimination is still evident. They enjoyed the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement, and putting context to civil rights activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Students expressed that they were able to empathise more to the Civil rights activists as opposed to just learning about them via a traditional classroom setting. Students were moved by the fight and pain derived from a 'true life' story, particulalry the paywrights story, and felt a sense of empowerment via the collective stance
- Natalie Lapko, Teacher: Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto (TDSB)
KJ Group is a non-profit theatre arts company. We welcome SPONSORS and are grateful to the following organizations and individuals for their generous contributions and support.
BEHIND the SCENES
BRITTANY BANKS, ANDREW BRODERICK, JIVARO SMITH (Kinky Boots), ALANA BRIDGEWATER (We will Rock you) KAREN JEWELS (Lion King), DUFF MACDONALD (Les Miserables) JILLIAN REES-BROWN (Billy Elliot), KESHA WINT, MATTHEW BRADLEY, MELANIE LEBLANC, AYANNA SEALEY, KEVIN CLARKE, KION FLATTS, LAUREN MACINA, GENNALEE GORDON, JERI LEADER, RACHEL CURRIE, CONNOR DAY, CHARLOTTE HUTCHISON HANSEN, MORGAN HUTCHISON.
Photo credit: Seanna Kennedy
DANDELIONS in the WIND premiered in Toronto during Black History month of 2017. Funds are now being organized and plans consolidated to move the show forward in 2018-2019. Although the show is for all ages from 10 to 100, our focus is on youth. We are particularly interested in having educators move alongside us. If you would like to be part of this amazing journey please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Using potent, sometimes brutal images from the era as a backdrop to the story unfolding onstage, Dandelions in the Wind offers an honest and at times heartbreaking assessment of how far we still have to go before true equality is achieved. Given the dignity and peaceful demeanour of the Alabama bus boycott protesters, the violent response of their oppressors is doubly shocking and the play forcefully reminds you of the dangers of complacency in a world that is, once again, becoming increasingly hostile to immigrants and minorities.
With a score that ranges from slave chants to gospel songs, the show also has its moments of humour and empathy, including the beautifully-drawn bond between two fast friends, one black and one white, who refuse to be cowed by the ignorance and hatred of their racist neighbours. It was a fitting addition to Black History Month events and a reminder that we can never afford to be complacent - Kate Gilderdale, Stouffville Free Press
in loving memory of Roger Burges and Keith Bowen
DANDELIONS IN THE WIND is my life's work...it encompasses so much of the emotion that I experienced during the sixties and seventies as a young white woman married to a young black man. Keith was attacked by Skinheads in the UK, left on the pavement with a severely fractured skull. He made what we thought was a full recovery and we moved to Canada looking for a safe place to raise our mixed-race children, but shortly after getting here he died... shockingly... unexpectedly... a complication from the head injury. I was five months pregnant with our third child.
"More than three decades have not faded the image that was seared onto my soul the day of the funeral: our little girl clutching dandelions she had picked for her daddy, the October sun transforming the lowly weeds into filigree globes of silver, and her curls into a halo of gold.
She was three.
The funeral had taught her that flowers mean 'I love you', but she was perplexed as to how to give them to her father. I blew some of the parachutes heavenwards. She watched them float back to earth, her bottom lip trembling. And then she said, 'If I think really hard, can I think the flowers to daddy?'"
- Jennifer Dance Bowen
DANDELIONS IN THE WIND is the musical love story of a young white woman and a young black man caught up in the turbulent times of America’s Civil Rights era. The inspiration to create this musical came from the racism that the playwright and her late husband experienced in the sixties and seventies as a young bi-racial couple. Jennifer has placed that personal experience into the backdrop of the American Civil Rights era, giving the musical power and depth.