Not Until You Know My Story

Written and performed by
Anthony Curry and Carrie Gibson

Directed by John Vreeke

Not Until You Know My Story is a play that includes the stories of fifteen characters based on interviews. The differences that are addressed include: race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, size, transgender and privilege. The play begins with scenes and stories from Ms. Gibson’s childhood where the issues of privilege and race are addressed as a launching pad for the actors to bring to life the true stories of the people interviewed. The final character seen is James W. Washington Jr., an 80 year old African American sculptor and painter who describes how he, as a 12 year old boy, challenged kids to make a mark on the street and he would use a crayon to convert that mark into a human being “using what they had made as part of the picture.”  Each character in the play becomes a part of the whole picture of growing up, working and living in this country with their differences.

The Workshop:

Following the play Ms. Gibson and Mr. Curry will facilitate a discussion using the thoughts and feelings of the participants that were evoked by the play. The facilitators believe that healing and progress will occur when a person can imagine what it is like to be another person and they will use this belief to guide people’s responses to each other. The participants will be invited to share their own stories and experiences as they relate to their work environment as a way to address current obstacles to inclusion in the workplace.

The Objectives:

  • To create a climate of inclusion in the work environment and community
  • To identify and explore denial, guilt and defensiveness evoked by discussions of discrimination
  • To help participants fully listen to each other’s experiences related to individual and institutional oppression in order to facilitate healing and problem solving in the workplace

The following people were interviewed for the play:

Dena Bunton, a Lummi Indian female School Administrator

Emily Davis, a White female, student with cerebral palsy

Dr. Joseph Drake, an African American male, Principal

Pat Gibson, a White female, Actress, Carrie’s mother

Edmonia Jarrett, an African American female, Jazz and Blues singer

Elida Florina, a Guatemalan female, Teacher

Roy S Harrell, Pastor of Ojai Valley Baptist Church

Dan Ma, a Chinese American male, Government Employee

Richard Marshall, a Native American male, Violinist

Patti Michele Schaeffer, Transgender Male to Female, Scientist

Lew Scheinart, a Gay Jewish male, Human Rights Activist

Norm Stamper, a White male, Seattle Police Chief

Nel Stephens, a White female, Product Manager at a software company

Cindy Sexton, a Woman of Size, Office Assistant in Charities Division for WA State Govt.

Nadine Wahab, an Arab American Woman, Public Affairs Manager at Arab American Institute

James W. Washington, Jr., an African American male, Sculptor and Painter

And a special thanks to Professor Julius Lester who started Carrie on this journey.