“Feather Island” By Susan Tordella with Justin Moriarty is a short musical play for elementary and middle school children about an island in which ducks exploit chickens. Actors play ducks and chickens to learn about the injustice of laws that strip chickens of their rights, and allow ducks to own them. Chickens rebel and cause havoc. The ducks relent and agree to abide by one set of laws for ducks and chickens.
A five minute read-aloud version of the story can be used in a classroom and for children’s worship time in any denomination. Susan Tordella wrote the story to present during children’s time when she preaches on the injustice of mass incarceration. Many adults do not know the meaning of the term “Jim Crow,” the title of Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
Originally a minstrel character named Jim Crow in the 1800s, a white entertainer blackened his face and acted out non-flattering caricatures of slaves. Jim Crow became shorthand for legal segregation followed in the USA after the Civil War until the 1954 landmark decision, Brown V. Board of Education, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the civil rights movement. For decades, whites enforced a system of legal segregation in schools and the workplace, public places such as theaters, hospitals, restaurants, stores, hotels, and places of business.
“Feather Island” will hopefully educate young people through drama, the injustice of legalized segregation, and the power of rebellion.
AGREEMENT: By downloading “Feather Island” 5-minute story, I agree that the story will not be used for profit or be reprinted for sale. Credit must be given to the author, Susan Tordella. “Feather Island” will be used solely for education.
Here is the Feather Island, 5-6 min children’s story by Susan Tordella.
Here is a video of the play performed in Portland, Maine, under the direction of Justin Moriarty, who inspired creation of the play.
AGREEMENT: By downloading “Feather Island” the play, I agree that it will not be used for profit or reprinted for sale. Credit must be given to the authors, Susan Tordella and Justin Moriarty. “Feather Island” will be used solely for education.
Note: this version of the script is longer than the 14 minute video above.
Educators who produce the play are invited to suggest improvements, additions, photos and videos of the production to the author. Email: emit . susan at g mail . com.