Lessons Learned

by Ben Guillory – Producing Artistic Director

Congratulations to the Empowerment Congress, Los Angeles County and communities throughout the nation that picked up the mantel and built models emulating the vision of Supervisor MarkLessons Learned Ridley-Thomas for empowering people in their own neighborhoods.

It is a grand and great accomplishment and your breadth and depth of accomplishment over the last 25 years is truly extraordinary.

The Robey Theatre Company is pleased and privileged to have been a part of this celebration and proud to make a contribution to its presentation.It should be said that viewing the 25 years through a theatrical lens and finding a few key moments among so many was at first daunting and seemingly almost impossible to make choices from such an array of significant moments in history. Then, to dramatize these events…a challenge!

But after listening to interviews of many who were engaged, shared responsibility, participated in the process, collaborated even when they disagreed, and finally were themselves empowered was simply inspirational to our production process.

Doors opened, casting insight about this unique and yet very simple and straight forward method for community problem solving.

Ask questions. Listen to the answers. Discuss and offer feedback. Listen to others. Debate with passion. Communicate with civility.

When these mechanisms are in play, they are instruments of effective change and achieve a successful outreach to foster fellowship within our communities. These ingredients in collaboration with a creative team of playwrights, actors, and technicians working in tandem with the Supervisor’s staff, helped to design a presentation that would hopefully pay tribute and do justice to the efforts and sacrifices of so many, which represent the vision and soul of the Empowerment Congress.

Actors: David Datz, David Ty Reza, Dwain A. Perry, Elizabeth June Williams, Julio hanson , JC Cadena, Kem Sanders, Peter Kwong, Rhonda S. White, Scott St. Patrick, Tiffany Cody, Adam Torres, Karrington Jackson, Ali Ahmad

Writers: Anthony Aguilar, George Corbin, Julie Taiwo Oni, Melvin Ishmael Johnson

Empowement Song: Cydney Dawyne Davis

Stage Manager: John Freeland Jr.

Costumes: Naila Sanders