The musical love story of a young interracial couple caught up in the turbulent times of America’s Civil Rights era.
With emphasis on the pain, hope and triumph of the African America people, the content translates to anyone caught up in the prejudice, bullying and hatred that comes from being different in any way. No matter your ethnicity, culture or faith, Dandelions in the Wind is for you!
DANDELIONS IN THE WIND will soon be available in two new editions:
AUDIO-THEATRE EDITION: A five-part anti-racism audio program for schools, book clubs, libraries, churches and more. Accompanied by "The Companion" a comprehensive educational resource, this COVID-friendly program is perfect for Black History Month, as well as year-round courses in History, Social Science, Creative Writing, Dramatic Arts, and African Canadian / American studies.
PERFORMANCE EDITION: This modified script, score and professionally recorded instrumental soundtrack, ensure that high schools and amateur theatre groups have everything needed to perform Dandelions in the Wind on their own stages.
Developed from the original stage show created by Jennifer Dance, these two new editions dive into racism in North America, looking at the historical roots from Africa through slavery and the Civil Rights era to the present day. The story-line is set in the past but Today's Generation (youth ensemble) observe and interact through the centuries. In Spoken Word, they compare historic events to their own reality today, showing how far we have come in eliminating racism, but how far we still have to go.
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THE PERFORMANCE EDITION
Dandelions in the Wind Corporation is a not-for-profit theatre-arts company whose mission is to create knowledge, understanding and compassion on issues that relate to justice and equality in today's world. Our mandate is to use excellent entertainment to both educate and touch hearts, creating positive change by inspiring individuals to think differently.
Music varies from slave chants and gospel music to poignant love ballads and argument songs. There are songs of triumph and songs of utter defeat, plus toe-tapping dance numbers that allow Today’s Generation to showcase their talent. And peppered throughout is spoken word: the perfect genre for Today’s Generation to challenge the status quo, confront racial stereotypes and dispel them!
It's an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Of Jamaican ancestry, Canadian-born Quisha grew up listening to Reggae, Motown, Gospel, and R&B. She graduated from the jazz program at Humber College, established herself as one of Toronto’s most sought-after session vocalists, and has performed around the world with many well-known musicians. With a bright personality and strong emotive vocal abilities, Quisha also inspires others to live out their dreams.
She launched QW productions in 2014 as a platform for black musicians and singers to showcase their gifts. Since then, she has produced several large music shows each year, delivering outstanding professional entertainment in a classy and nostalgic atmosphere. She is also Pastor of Worship and Creative Arts at a large GTA church, planning and executing drama, music and video for both Sunday worship and special events, a job that entails directing a diverse church choir, children’s choir and musicians.
Quisha has not forgotten her roots. She credits Tropicana Youth Services for her music career and her passion for helping black youth pursue their dreams. Volunteering at Toronto’s United Way, Quisha created relationships with black youth, helping them develop music skills. Fifteen years ago, with the birth of her son, Quisha shifted her vision towards black children. “They are our hope for change.” Quisha is committed to Dandelions in the Wind and to using her skills to teach Black children, youth and adults about the past, and help them forge a stronger identity. She sees Dandelions in the Wind as an incredible opportunity to promote positive change for the future among a multicultural audience.
Jennifer has been passionate about racial equality since her teenage years. Born in England in 1949, she grew up in an all-white community but when she was 17 she relocated to Trinidad with her parents . While studying at the University of the West Indies, she was shocked to learn about colonialism from the perspective of the colonized rather than the colonizer, and was mortified by the devastating history of slavery and its impacts on society through to current times. Simultaneously, she fell in love with a Black student. Both these things changed her life for ever. After graduation, Keith and Jennifer married and moved to England where they soon became personally acquainted with violent racism: Keith was attacked by Skinheads. After recovering from the head injury, they migrated to Canada looking for a safer place to raise their young family but soon after arriving, Keith died: a complication from the earlier injury. Widowed at 30, Jennifer struggled to carry on. (See THE REAL LOVE STORY)
As the years passed, Jennifer turned her creativity to writing books and musicals for young people. The concept for Dandelions in the Wind started back then. Hailed as a social change artist, her published works raise awareness about racism, increasing understanding and empathy in youth who will become tomorrow’s leaders. This was Jennifer's objective ... her way of making sense of the tragedy that had befallen Keith; her way to make the world a better place for their children.
Chosen for the Forest of Reading program, Jennifer's novels: RED WOLF, PAINT, and HAWK are used in schools across Canada, giving her the opportunity to address many thousands of students in classrooms, libraries, and gyms nationwide, inspiring them to make a difference. The highlight was at the Forest of Reading Festival in Toronto with 6000 students in attendance - a rock-star experience! Her fourth book, GONE BUT STILL HERE, is a teen-adult novel primarily about Alzheimer’s Disease, but as with all her creative works, racism is a big part of the story.
In recognition of her significant contribution to young adult literature raising awareness about racism, Jennifer received the 2016 Ontario Achievement Award. She was honoured to be nominated as a Woman of Excellence in the J.S. Woodsworth Awards for Human Rights and Equity. And was also awarded a prestigious Creative Writing grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for Gone but still here,
Despite the accolades and support for her novels, Dandelions in the Wind is Jennifer's life's work and her passion. She is thankful to both TD and CCA for their financial support, and to Quisha Wint for taking this project and running with it.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The making of the musical