"May the court come to order, may the court come to order..."
As the voice of teaching artist Signe V. Harriday rings through the classroom, 19 students at the Manhattan International High School become quiet.
In just two days' time, they'll be audience members at The New Victory Theater in a performance of Marcus Gardley's "X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation," a play that takes place in a fictitious courtroom, reenacting critical moments leading up to Malcolm X's assassination.
For many students, stepping foot in a theater will be an entirely new experience. Even hearing the name "Malcolm X" is a first for some. That's where The New Victory Theater's classroom workshops come in.
Teaching artists like Harriday and Julia Sirna-Frest visit schools across New York City to introduce theater to new communities. Workshops are designed to enrich students' understanding of the show and help forge a connection between the art they see on stage with the artistry that exists in their own lives.
"What I love about this workshop is it puts the students in the driver's seat of their own learning and exploration," Harriday said. "It brings the legacy of Malcolm X as an active thing that we should be trying to pursue."
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