Conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas, and Reggie D. White. Production Design by You-Shin Chen. Video Design & Editing by Josiah Davis. Sound Design by Daniel Kluger. Production Coordination by Clarissa Marie Ligon. Presented by The Vineyard Theatre.

Kalyne Coleman as Nikki Giovanni; Ricardy Fabre as James Baldwin

In LESSONS IN SURVIVAL, the inaugural investigation of The Commissary, actors channel historic conversations, interviews and speeches, listening to original broadcasts on an in-ear feed and speaking exactly what they hear. In bringing these words to new life in the present, we ask what these voices can teach us about our country now and the opportunity for true revolution that stands before us. How might they propel us to look courageously at the effects of systemic racism, to imagine ourselves outside of its prescriptions, and to create, together, a shared future of collective liberation?


New York Times: “Best Theater of 2020” (Dec 2020)

Theatermania: “Review: Vineyard’s Lessons in Survival is An Expert Theatrical History Lesson” (Nov 2020)

New York Times: “When Political Theater Ditches the Disguises of Fiction” (Nov 2020)

New York Times: “The Sound in Their Ears? Black Thinkers Sharing ‘Lessons in Survival” (Oct 2020)