Courtney Surmanek            



The Race 2020

Original score by Michael Rohd

Co-Director with Taylor Wood in collaboration with Tacie Jones. Additional collaborators TBA

While the global pandemic and the enduring harm of white supremacy magnifies challenges that lie ahead, the power of art promises to uplift, unite and disrupt. What can we build together in this immense time of culture shift? What can we dream up when we contend seriously with our shared hopes, dreams and fears?

The Race 2020 is a devised theatre piece originally created by Sojourn Theatre in concert with the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections. Our creative team will be reimagining and remounting the play in November 2020 at Virginia Tech.

The show and process will explore the shared hopes, dreams and fears that cut across the United States’ increasingly polarized society. We’ll metaphorically and literally take a walk in each other’s shoes, learn from each other, and develop the capacity to share what we’ve learned with others. Together, we’ll create a unique theatrical experience promoting civic dialogue and civic inquiry. We’ll collectively seek to answer this question: Who are the leaders we need right now?

To learn more about The Race and discuss opportunities for involvement email Courtney and Taylor at buildingcivility [at] gmail [dot] com. The Race, in collaboration with Building Civility, a project led by Todd Schenk, has been made possible in part by a grant from Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.