Local production of The Colored Museum taking place in Central Kitsap

The Kitsap Black Student Union and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art are bringing a satirical take on some uncomfortable topics onto the stage of the Central Kitsap Performing Arts Center with their presentation of The Colored Museum Jan. 19-20.

The theatrical work written by African-American playwright George C. Wolfe premiered in 1986 at the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey, exposing audiences to a comedic yet discomforting pathway to addressing social justice. A news release on the upcoming performance states it’s a presentation of the “MLK inspired theme of Social Justice through the Arts, creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue regarding otherwise uncomfortable topics.”

Executive director of the BSU Jewel Shepherd-Sampson believes the messages are not only just as relevant today as they were then, but just as important to bring up.

“There’s been a few incidents that have been publicized throughout Kitsap County schools over the last year, and there’s a lot that doesn’t get publicized and is still going on,” she said. “I think the temperament of our nation is just really going backwards.”

Shepherd-Sampson said talks of bringing the production to the local stage had been ongoing but that present-day circumstances and the state of the world from what she saw left her to believe this was the year to get it done.

“I’m not a hopeless person, but I know if we don’t bring this back up, and we don’t continue to have these conversations, we’re rolling back to the ‘60s,” she said.

The local performance will put to the stage a 10-person cast under the direction of Lynne Hastings, featuring high school students and community members from around Kitsap.

Performances are Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. It’s the weekend following Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Right after this, we roll right into Black History Month,” Shepherd Sampson said, “and we all really owe it to each other to be looking out for one another.”