Using potent, sometimes brutal images from the era as a backdrop to the story unfolding onstage, Dandelions in the Wind offers an honest and at times heartbreaking assessment of how far we still have to go before true equality is achieved. Given the dignity and peaceful demeanour of the Alabama bus boycott protesters, the violent response of their oppressors is doubly shocking and the play forcefully reminds you of the dangers of complacency in a world that is, once again, becoming increasingly hostile to immigrants and minorities.
With a score that ranges from slave chants to gospel songs, the show also has its moments of humour and empathy, including the beautifully-drawn bond between two fast friends, (older women) one black and one white, who refuse to be cowed by the ignorance and hatred of their racist neighbours. It was a fitting addition to Black History Month events and a reminder that we can never afford to be complacent
- Kate Gilderdale, Stouffville Free Press
The feedback from students was overwhelming: they absolutely loved the play! They particularly enjoyed the aspect of connecting history with the current events of today's political climate, highlighting how discrimination is still evident. They enjoyed the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement, and putting context to civil rights activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Students expressed that they were able to empathize more to the Civil rights activists as opposed to just learning about them via a traditional classroom setting. Students were moved by the fight and pain derived from a 'true life' story, particularly Jennifer's story, and felt a sense of empowerment via the collective stance.
- Natalie Lapko: Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Teacher, Toronto District School Board
A fantastic learning experience for my students and myself … the students were touched by the play and many were moved emotionally to tears. As an educator, I liked the fact that the message was blunt, in your face and it was undeniable. And to know that this was in part Jennifer Dance's life story ... it took away the opportunity for people to say that it's just a story and that it wouldn't happen in real life. The message is an important one for students to see and experience.
- Careen Thompson: Emery Collegiate Institute, Toronto District School Board.
I brought my grade 7 classes to see the show. It truly helped them understand some of the social challenges that have been part of the black experience. We had so much rich discussion on issues of social justice - racism, prejudice, segregation .... and what to do about it - advocate, protest, educate, accept. Amazing experience!
- Brandy Henry: Thomas L Wells PS, Scarborough, Toronto District School Board
"I really enjoyed the play. I also learned a lot of history. Now I will strive to make the world a better place any way I can. I will try to help more people because the play made me realize something, something important about people and how we should treat them. With love!"
"Dandelions in the Wind was breathtaking and I was deeply touched, in fact certain parts had tears welling in my eyes. My mind is just boggled."
"The play was immensely thought-provoking and meaningful. It gave me a completely different perspective. There were scary moments, enlightening scenes, deep sayings, and encouraging moments. I was educated in an unusual way. "
"It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget … an emotional roller-coaster with a heartfelt message. I learned that everyone is equal and different, but to embrace who they are and not be afraid."
"We talked about social issues in class, then we saw this play, and now I understand more ... Judging people is not right because everyone is a human and should have equal rights, everyone should have a voice. Watching this play improves people by changing the way they think about others."
"It really made me think about how bad racism is … makes me want to make a difference … made me emotional."
"It was like I was really there!"