friday, april 23, 2010
play explores conflict between faith, the street
stephanie guerilus tribune staff writer "if it came down to it" is the dynamic stage lay by cashae star. the songwriter, rapper and ow actress wrote a gospel tale about the peer ressure those who are young and saved ncounter. star portrays the title main character dior who eemingly finds herself torn between what she nows is right and her desires. "it's a gospel play and it's about a young lady ho meets this gentlemen on her way to church. e runs the streets. he's like a hustler," she said. she's a church girl. she don't really know nothng about the streets, but it seems as if she's alling for him." she further explained the central conflict. "basically, it just tells about if it came down to t, what is she going to do? is she going to stand by carly everson indianapolis - a plan to crete what could be the first u.s. pubic charter schools run by a roman atholic archdiocese is meeting esistance from those who worry bout whether religious messages nd icons will really stay out of the lassrooms and hallways. mayor greg ballard says the plan s an innovative way to keep schools pen so they can fill the needs of amilies in the struggling areas surounding the schools. archdiocese fficials saw an opportunity to keep he schools open despite a growing udget deficit. "a good neighborhood school is always a good thing to have," ballard said. "these schools have been around for a while and obviously have trouble making ends meet, but they still provide a valuable service for these neighborhoods." the city approved the plan april 5 to convert st. anthony's and st. andrew & st. rita academy in a move that would qualify the schools for nearly $1 million in state funding in the first year. that means some changes: crucifixes and statues of saints must be removed from every classroom and mount hebron baptist church 1415-19 wharton st. on april 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 2 .m., mount hebron baptist hurch will be having a clothing nd items giveaway. the giveaway ill include items for kids, men, adies and the home. shopping ags and carts are allowed. for ore information, call (215) 217- 991. wayland temple baptist church 2500 w. cecil b. moore ave. wayland temple baptist church ill be celebrating its 108th church nniversary on april 25. the guest reacher of the 10:40 a.m. service is the rev. benjamin hailey of union baptist church and the guest preacher for the 3 p.m. service is the rev. albert davis of mt. calvary baptist church. the rev. robert j. lovett sr. is pastor. for more information, call (215) 769-0243. holy temple church of god in christ 60th and callowhill streets on april 25-28, holy temple hurch of god in christ will be aving its annual revival. the guest peaker will be the pastor of bible days revival church in houston, texas, dr. anthony wilcots. the rev. robert l. hargrove is pastor. for more information, call (215) 747-2266 or (215) 747-2766. first african baptist church 1608 christian st. first african baptist church will e having its spring revival on april 26-28 at 7 p.m. nightly. the guest speaker will be the rev. garth gittens of calvary baptist church. the rev. terrence d. griffith is pastor. for more information call (215) 35-1050. 46th street baptist church 46th wooland ave. 46th street baptist church will be aving a unity day revival on april 8-20 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. the heme will be "christian lifestyles." he rev. dr. willie e. robinson of her man or is she going to follow this religious lifestyle she' been brought up in?" star said. star believed that the play would be able to reach across demographics. in her opinion, teenagers could identify with the issues and adults could get a better grasp the problems the younger generation faces. the other performers were also confident of the play's ability to provide lessons. rodney harris, star's brother, takes on the role of dante, who is a street hustler. he praised his sister's ability to connect with an audience. "it's a pretty good story. it's about everyday life," harris said. "this is a lot of fun and we give back to the community." toni richardson, who is the aggressive sani, thought that her character would challenge women on how they conduct themselves. "sani is a character who is the type of person that has to command the stage. she is very over- office at both schools. bibles sitting on display tables in hallways and saint statues in stairwells at st. anthony must go. at st. andrew & st. rita, two large limestone crosses are part of the outside wall of the building. the board will have to get creative with those, said connie zittnan, director of the mother theodore catholic academies, which currently runs the city's six urban catholic schools. both schools will end religious education classes during the school day, archdiocese spokesman greg otolski said. concerns about maintaining separation of church and state have already prompted a national watchdog group to write the mayor's office with its concerns. mt. pleasant baptist church will be the guest preacher. the rev. martin t. wright is pastor. for more information call (215) 386-8150. mt. pisgah ame church 428 north 41st st. on may 1, mt. pisgah ame church will be having a fashion show and supper. the show will feature tots-to-teens and men of distinction. the rev. jay b. broadnax is pastor. for more information call (215) 386-6181. cedar park presbyterian church 7740 limekiln pike cedar park presbyterian church will be having its gospel fest on may 1 at 4 p.m. the theme is "just can't stop praising the lord." the brockington ensemble and other local and national groups will be at the concert. the rev. dr. carroll jenkins is pastor. for more information, call (215) 549-9775. garden of payer world prayer center 2217 n. 29th st. garden of prayer world prayer center will be having a dramatic play on may 1 at 4 p.m. the play is called "rahab: harlot to holiness." tickets for the play will be $15. the rev. john h. roberts sr. is pastor. for more information call (215) 964-5161 or (215) 763- 3808. james varick ame zion church 2001 reed st. on may 2 at 3 p.m. james varick ame church will be having a concert. the concert will include the gospel choir of the church. the rev. dr. john w. kennedy is pastor. for more information call (215) 755-9196. montco bible fellowship 160 e. main st. lansdale, pa. montco bible fellowship will be having a concert on may 2 at 7 p.m. the concert will include the duo 2fold. for more information call (215) 855-0899. americans united for separation of church and state said they are concerned about the archdiocese's willingness to end all school prayer and remove religious icons, as well as how catholic teachers who remain will be trained to understand the constitutional duties of public school teachers. "we are certainly going to be watching the situation as closely as we can and making noise about it when we see things going on that should not be," said leona e. balek, president of the group's indiana chapter. a national group that authorizes charter schools and management officials say the plan would mark the first time in the country that an archdiocese would run public charter schools. catholic church leaders in new york, and washington, d.c., have converted parish schools into charter schools, but those were operated by secular organizations. charter schools are generally free of many of the curriculum, budget and other regulations imposed on traditional public schools. the mother theodore catholic academies will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the two indianapolis charter schools, but it will do the bookkeeping offsite so that there is no confusion between the finances of the private and public schools, which require different powering. she has to be seen," richardson said. "she has this demeanor about her that she's going to get what she wants and really doesn't care what she has to do. she is more of the ghetto girl in the play." she continued with her assessment and why this format was not such a controversial setting. the flier depicts star as a god fearing good girl holding a bible but simultaneously as a bad girl who is toting a gun. "when she put it as a gospel play, i thought it was terrific because it shows that even though you're from a different type of background, you can still put god in it," she said. the next presentation of "if it came down to it" will be on may 9 at university of penn, the hall of flags in houston hall, 3417 spruce st. at 7 p.m. for more information, call (267) 591-6973. star can be found on the web at www.cashaestar.com and www.youtube.com/cashaestar. levels of accountability to the government, zittnan said. the two schools will be renamed this summer by parents. each will have spots for 24 students per grade level. the schools will hold a lottery if applications exceed available spots. current teachers will have to reapply for their jobs, but otolski anticipates many will return after the transition. the archdiocese has long subsidized the schools because lowincome families couldn't afford full tuition. principal cindy greer says the average family income is $14,000 a year at st. anthony's, where cramped quarters mean an all-purpose room in the basement serves as art, music and physical education space, as well as the cafeteria. a tiny clinic and offices are partitioned from the rest of the room by tall cabinets. about 98 percent of students at st. anthony qualify for free or reduced lunch, otolski said. some families could afford only $300 of the approximately $7,000 it costs to educate a child at inner-city schools each year. greer said most families are relieved that they'll pay only book rental fees once the school converts to a charter. even so, otolski said the decision to apply for charter status was "bittersweet." parent gloria guillen said she wanted to keep her youngest child, ivan, in catholic school as long as possible, but she knew the cost would eventually force her to move him to public schools like his older siblings. she is applying for the fifth-grader to return to st. anthony next year. even with the new rules for religious page 11-b
church-state issue clouds ind. schools' conversion
americans united for separation of church and state said they are concerned about the archdiocese's willingness to end all school prayer and remove religious icons, as well as how catholic teachers who remain will be trained to understand the constitutional duties of public school teachers.
pictured here is a publicity poster for the gospel play "if it came down to it." - photo submitted by cashae star instruction, she said children would still learn catholic values so long as their parents are involved at the school and keep their children active in the church. still, the schools will have to walk a careful line as they learn the rules for admissions, expulsions and accountability for funds for public schools, said greg richmond, president of the national association of charter school authorizers. "this switch goes far beyond saying, 'well, we're no longer going to say prayers,'" richmond said. "there is a whole set of obligations that public schools have to students and to the public that private schools do not have. "i think that's a greater challenge than saying you're going to take the religion out." - (ap)