On Thursday, June 23rd, a number of Facing History staff based in New England had the rich opportunity to attend Melia Bensussen and Kirsten Greenidge’s riveting new play Common Ground Revisited at the Boston Center for the Arts. The play is a creative response to J. Anthony Lukas’ seminal book Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families which delivers what is often regarded as the definitive account of the contentious period in the 1970s in which busing was used as a strategy to drive school desegregation in Boston. Bensussen and Greenidge’s play thickens the plot considerably, however, as they deconstruct the book’s contents in real time—playing, replaying, and remixing scenes from the book.
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