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Colorism in Theater: Mya Flood ’18

When Mya came to Ursinus, she was seeking a theater program in which she could be truly involved. She found that, and more, as she brings theater into her summer research.

Her high school experience, at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, instilled in her a passion for student-run theater experiences. “That community was nurturing, and I wanted that in college,” she says.

At Ursinus she acted in The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County  Spelling Bee. She is on the board of Breakaway, the student-run acting troupe. Recently she performed under the direction of faculty member Meghan Brodie at the Women, Theater and the Holocaust events in New York City, and in the spoken word poetry slam at COSA.

Her research interest is in colorism, which is the discrimination of darker-skinned individuals, often among the same ethnic group.  While it is found worldwide, she wanted to look “where I live.” She is looking at the work of American playwrights such as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Suzan Lori Parks and others, under faculty mentor is Domenick Scudera.

Flood is enhancing her project with a solo performance which she hopes to perform at her high school, and at Ursinus. That solo piece will be part history lesson and part personal experience, but uplifting, she says. “I want people to say, I can be comfortable in my own skin.”