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What Happens to a Dream Deferred: Accessing Strength in Times of Vulnerability


What with today’s pandemic causing the cancellation of our graduation, it’s easy to wonder if anything that occurred in these past three years were anything more than a fever dream. By ending this graduate training with such an abrupt dissipation, it feels like my dreams have been deferred, without my permission. Langston Hughes, poses the question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” I am not only forced to answer this question as myself, but as Bennie.

During the winter quarter of first year, I had the incredible privilege of playing Lorraine Hansberry’s classic, semi-autobiographical Beneatha Younger in “A Raisin In the Sun.” My exploration of Bennie was perhaps one of the most rewarding, intangible gifts I could have ever received-- perhaps because the performance was rooted in the fundamentals. We had created an environment in which we could listen and respond truthfully to one another from the first week we started to block the play, so that by the time our run commenced, our vessels were ready.

These impassive times might be robbing us of a graduation ceremony, but it does not negate the intangible gifts we have acquired over the past three years. Whether it be the embodiment of Beneatha, the reclaiming of my physical health, imparting encouragement and wisdom in the classroom, and psychological & spiritual repair, I have rooted myself in the fundamentals which have made me ready. I choose to view my circumstances, my dreams deferred, and access my vulnerability to keep driving my vessel & my dreams alive...much unlike a raisin in the sun.

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