Le Passage Teaches Multiple Lessons Through Art

Posted: December 18th, 2013

Le Passage Teaches Multiple Lessons Through Art
By Jason Carson Wilson

Our  past remains part of our future. That was among the themes of “Le Passage,” the renowned stage play, which Chicago Theological Seminary Associate Professor of Ethics & Theology Dr. JoAnne Marie Terrell and her AIDS and Violence Class presented at CTS last Wednesday and at McCormick Theological Seminary on Friday.

“Advocacy for people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, and exposing systems of violence remain the principal motivations for why we continue both to educate ourselves and teach through the use of drama,” Terrell said in a statement.

She and her talented students decided to focus on human trafficking, which inspired the play's selection. Le Passage chronicled the lives of people in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, exploring concepts of beauty, chattel slavery and, of course, human trafficking.

“This legacy continues to affect our cultural perceptions, not only of 'beauty,' but, also of which persons today may be subject of approbation and advocacy, or of division and discounted experience,” Terrell said.

The exploration of beauty, included confronting the concept that lighter skin is more beautiful, through the story of Genevieve Micheaux. CTS' own Jerrolyn Eulinberg played the younger Genevieve and Johnny Kline played her much older White husband. Richard McKinney portrayed him in his younger years.

Terrell stressed, after the play, that many of us don't know how alike we are or our personal history. She shared the story of learning about her personal history through a DNA test, which shed insight on from where she came. Terrell encouraged others to do that sane investigation. For more information, please visit, www.ancestrydna.com.

However, AIDS advocacy wasn't forgotten. The play ended with a special offering for the Rae Lewis Thornton Foundation. Thornton is an AIDS activist, who lives with the disease herself. For more information on supporting the foundation, please visit, http://www.raelewisthornton.com.