WORDS FROM THE PEOPLE.

A collection of thoughts & feelings from those that

personally experienced the Wrong Answer project.

 

Jennifer Onopa

Wrong Answer Theatrical Director

I was honored to be asked to collaborate on Wrong Answer. As a theater-maker and educator I was grateful to work on making a piece of theater that speaks back to an issue which I am quite passionate about--the deleterious impacts of our nation’s standardized testing process on our students, particularly Black students. Aside from the inherent discoveries, joys, and challenges of shepherding a new work onto the stage, I was most excited by the group dialogues following each performance and invigorated by the energy, experiences, and ideas that participants shared. These conversations demonstrated a strong collective desire to transform our educational assessment system. I truly hope these conversations continue past this project and ripple through toward policy change.

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Jennifer Randall, Ph.D

UMass- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Director of Evaluation for the Center for Educational Assessment

Wrong Answer is a must see production for any person who has ever been (or will ever be) directly, or indirectly, impacted by large scale standardized assessments. I was truly moved by this narrative which examines – on one level- the disappointment, shame, and anger that erupts when both preparation and enthusiasm still result in inexplicable failure. The audience was thoughtfully reminded that these large standardized exams were not designed to value the ways of knowing, being, and doing that students of color bring to the table; and encourages us to rethink their value/intent. Wrong Answer provides a lens into how students of color have been and continue to be brutalized by large (and too often small) scale assessments. A moving performance…

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Harley Erdman, Ph.D

UMass- Theater Department Chair

"Wrong Answer was eye-opening and transformative. It took sociological research that can often be dry or impersonal and, through the power of theater, transformed that research into the heartbreaking stories of young black individuals who are struggling against the biases of institutionalized testing. As a result of the embodiment of the research into stories, I walked away with a new understanding of an issue that I thought I already knew about it. I understood it on the level of impact.”

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J.T. Hunt

Wrong Answer Cast Member

“My experience being involved with Wrong Answer was fun, but challenging. I appreciate how the play is bringing about awareness of social injustice in the form of standardized testing and through the eyes of high school students... That's rare.”

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Mary Elineema-Kidela

Wrong Answer Cast Member

"I believe Wrong Answer provides a narrative that is so often missing in discussions of traditional academic environments. It’s been an interesting journey to go about this project knowing it’s written by a person of color, and having so many underrepresented groups being represented in the process. This isn’t a finite piece of work; I’m excited to see how it grows and transforms an audience but also as a piece of theatre."

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Cassie McGrath

Wrong Answer Cast Member

"Coming into this project I just wanted to learn and take in others experiences on standardized testing and their relationship with their own education. As we continued to rehearse, I saw the strength in my peers and enjoyed working with such incredible people. Now that the project is coming to completion, I have learned more than I could have ever expected and I am proud of the work we have done as a cast, as I feel that is a powerful representation of what we feel internally of students.”

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Chris Jimenez

Wrong Answer Cast Member

“Wrong Answer opened my eyes to a game that I have been playing my entire life. I was introduced to the project by my Acting Fundamentals teacher, and she recommended that I try out. While reluctant at first, it was the best decision that I made all semester. While I enjoy studying business, I understand that achieving high scores has a greater significance that can at times take the fun out of my studies. So it was great being apart of a project that I resonated so much with, as it depicted the feelings students of color share towards testing extremely well.”

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Nathalie Amazan

Wrong Answer Cast Member

"I think this show is necessary. We need creative ways to discuss and engage in societal change; performance is one key way to facilitate that discussion and action. Being a part of this experience has been incredible; I find myself reflecting on my past experiences with taking high stakes standardized testing and wishing that I had watched something like this."

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Angela Kwebiiha

Wrong Answer Cast Member

“I was so blessed to be a part of the first production of Wrong Answer. At first it was intimidating playing the character of Danaijah but the team helped me realize how much I heavily resonated with her story. To have been part of an experience that highlighted issues that negatively affect black and brown communities, I feel thankful that I was a part of something bigger than myself. I was part of a truly collaborative process where everyone’s experiences were heard to help form a space where others could share theirs too. I will always be appreciative of the patience and focus of the team around me.”

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