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Forget charts and bar graphs. Turn data into a play, ‘make them more human’

People in this story

A soft recording of piano and oboe swells, and three actors walk across a dimly-lit stage. They’re in a park: one mimes going on a run; a couple sits on a park bench; another scours the ground, picking up plants and bugs. “Greenways are high-quality active transportation and recreation,” one cheerfully recites. “Public spaces for walking, biking, and rolling for all people of all ages and all abilities.” But that idyll, it quickly becomes clear, isn’t actually for “all” people. A pair of white joggers jostles a man played by Northeastern student Donovan Holt, a Black actor, who then sits, relegated, on the side of the stage. “I open my mouth and redline my voice to silence,” he says. “That stuff ain’t built for us.”

Later on, Halle Brockett, a dual theater and sign language student, portrays a woman applying for affordable housing in Boston; another actor embodies the application form, reciting questions about household income and family size. After Brockett gives her answers, the “application” offers her a $1,750/month, one-bedroom unit… in Natick, 16 miles west of the city.

“NATICK??!” the ensemble exclaims in unison, drawing knowing laughter from the crowd.

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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