Skip to Main ContentSearch Site
Top

CCRI teams with renowned poet for powerful narrative on social issues

CJ1March 31, 2021

Answering the not-so-obvious questions many are afraid to ask about race and racism, renowned Providence poet Christopher Johnson and The Wilbury Theatre Group join the Community College of Rhode Island Players next week to perform what Johnson calls his most powerful piece yet, Invoice for Emotional Labor.

Recorded at CCRI’s Bobby Hackett Theatre, Invoice for Emotional Labor streams Thursday, April 8–Saturday, April 10 via ShowTix4U with 7:30 pm performances on Thursday and Friday followed by a 5:30 pm Saturday finale. Saturday’s presentation also includes a live virtual panel and post-show talkback hosted by Johnson and featuring CCRI administrators and members of The Wilbury Group, where Johnson is a Playwright-in-Residence.

“Christopher Johnson is a remarkable artist and an important voice in our community,” said CCRI Theater Program Coordinator Ted Clement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to collaborate with The Wilbury Theatre Group in presenting his work, and we are so grateful Christopher is sharing it with the CCRI community.”

Invoice for Emotional Labor is a multi-discipline solo performance written and produced by Johnson, an internationally-known Poetry Slam champion and former Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) playwright fellow renowned for his ability to weave spoken word, poetry, and music into a harmonizing blend that captivates audiences while triggering important conversations on social issues such as race, incarceration, and mental illness.     

In Invoice for Emotional Labor, Johnson relives his personal experiences as an African American growing up in New Jersey and living in Providence, educating and inviting viewers into the process by challenging them to rethink preconceived notions on racial etiquette, unconscious bias, and cultural differences through his own unique lens. 

Johnson recorded Invoice for Emotional Labor in 16 hours over the span of two days, comparing the process to that of an actor or actress “getting into character” for a specific role, the difference being his performance is based on reality, forcing Johnson to relive uncomfortable, traumatizing moments during the production.

“Typically, the writing and performance is therapeutic,” Johnson said, “but performing Invoice for Emotional Labor reopened wounds and brought up some trauma I didn’t know I was experiencing.

“That is the first time that’s ever happened to me. As I went through these moments and performed, I realized then how big this really is. The entire performance is a personal experience, and everything I write about is real. In my position as an artist, I will always be teaching people. Every artist has a purpose, and if you are going to get on stage and people are going to give you their attention, you better have something to say.” 

Johnson wrote Invoice for Emotional Labor more than a year ago as an “interactive piece” and performed it virtually for the first time in March of 2020 as a live workshop production for The Wilbury Group. Since then, notes Wilbury Group Artistic Director Josh Short, “the piece has evolved so much and recent events have informed the work in such a beautiful and powerful way.”

“We’re thrilled to combine our longstanding collaboration with Christopher with our new collaborators at CCRI and sharing Invoice for Emotional Labor with their community and beyond,” Short said.

The April 10 post-show talkback hosted by Johnson also includes Clement; Short; CCRI Director of Human Resources and Institutional Equity Sybil Bailey; CCRI Dean of Students Michael Cunningham; CCRI Professor of English Eileen James; and CCRI alumnus, guest director, and Achievement First Mayoral Academy Instructor Ronald Lewis.  

Since teaming with The Wilbury Group in 2017, Johnson has produced several original works, including Invisible UpSouth and New and Dangerous Ideas, and performed in Decameron, Providence, an outdoor series presented at Providence’s WaterFire Arts Center. Johnson is one of 17 resident artists at The Wilbury Group, which, since its inception in 2010, has provided a platform for many of the area’s groundbreaking artists to engage in both original works and reimagined classics.

Share this story

Latest News

Fragility of faith, morality come to life in Players' production of Hand to God

Fragility of faith, morality come to life in Players' production of Hand to God

December 06, 2023

The Community College of Rhode Island Players close out the first half of their 2023–24 theater season this weekend with a production of Hand to God, an irreverent, dark comedy that touches upon themes of death, depression, religion, and the battle between good and evil through the lens of a crude sock puppet.

Read More

CCRI, RI Latino Artists come together to celebrate Latinx culture

CCRI, RI Latino Artists come together to celebrate Latinx culture

November 24, 2023

In celebration of Hispanic heritage and its Latinx students, the Community College of Rhode Island is hosting “A Celebration of Latinx Culture” Wednesday, November 29 from 4–5:45 pm at CCRI’s Liston Campus in Providence featuring artwork and special presentations from members of Rhode Island Latino Arts, the state’s leading nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of Latino arts.

Read More

CCRI, U.S. Department of Energy teaming up to help Rhode Island manufacturers

CCRI, U.S. Department of Energy teaming up to help Rhode Island manufacturers

November 20, 2023

CCRI’s efforts to assist local businesses with energy savings is getting a major boost thanks to the Biden Administration selecting CCRI as one of seventeen new Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) nationwide.

Read More

Off The Cuff: Becka Carroll

Off The Cuff: Becka Carroll

November 17, 2023

Assistant Director of Brand Marketing & Advertising Becka Carroll, who recently earned her MPA from the University of Rhode Island, is working overtime as the Co-Director of the Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange and a 2023–24 Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) Fellow. 

Read More

CCRI, Gov. McKee, and state leaders celebrate opening of offshore wind safety training center

CCRI, Gov. McKee, and state leaders celebrate opening of offshore wind safety training center

November 16, 2023

Governor Dan McKee and Speaker Joseph Shekarchi today joined CCRI’s Interim President Dr. Rosemary Costigan, Revolution Wind's joint-venture partners Ørsted and Eversource, along with Rhode Island state agencies and labor organizations, for a “topping-off” ceremony of the state’s first offshore wind safety training center at the Lincoln Campus.

Read More

First-Generation Spotlight: Digna Arias

First-Generation Spotlight: Digna Arias

November 10, 2023

CCRI’s own Digna Arias, a One-Stop Student Services Office Manager who has worked 13 years at the college, is one of many first-generation students who took advantage of CCRI’s vast resources while earning her associate degree in 2012.

Read More

CCRI alum, professor connects Shakespeare and social justice through hip-hop

CCRI alum, professor connects Shakespeare and social justice through hip-hop

November 09, 2023

The Community College of Rhode Island Players are teaming with the What Fray Was Here?: Social Justice Shakespeare theatre company and the Reverie Theatre Group this weekend for a free workshop presentation of Act 2 of I’m at Your Window, a hip-hop adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, at the Warwick Campus’ Bobby Hackett Theatre.

Read More

CCRI, Delta Dental team up to address dental hygienist shortage

CCRI, Delta Dental team up to address dental hygienist shortage

November 01, 2023

Through a partnership with Delta Dental of Rhode Island, CCRI's Dental Hygiene Clinic in Lincoln receives much-needed renovations to support a 25-percent increase in the number of dental hygiene students, thereby addressing the state's workforce needs.

Read More

Advanced manufacturing program at CCRI allows high school students to earn certificate

Advanced manufacturing program at CCRI allows high school students to earn certificate

October 31, 2023

Eleven juniors from North Kingstown High School (NKHS) are taking advantage of a unique learning opportunity through the Community College of Rhode Island’s latest High School Enrichment Dual-Enrollment initiative.

Read More

Off The Cuff: Ben Miller

Off The Cuff: Ben Miller

October 30, 2023

A recent nominee for the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Adult Educator of the Year Award, CCRI’s Benjamin Miller is an outstanding leader and advocate for adults looking to reimagine the education experience.

Read More

CCRI earns designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

CCRI earns designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

October 25, 2023

The Community College of Rhode Island has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) through academic year 2028, completing the second step of a two-step accreditation process by the National Security Agency (NSA) that began in March.

Read More

Off The Cuff: Brianna Cox

Off The Cuff: Brianna Cox

October 12, 2023

Communication and Media Assistant Professor Brianna Cox has been selected as a recipient of the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship for the Television Academy Foundation’s 2023 Media Educators Conference in Hollywood later this month.

Read More

Aspiring theater student thrives despite visual impairment

Aspiring theater student thrives despite visual impairment

October 04, 2023

Being visually impaired has presented myriad challenges for Community College of Rhode Island Theater major Jalen Rodriguez, but limitations haven’t stood in the way of the 22-year-old Woonsocket, RI, native pursuing a career in performing arts – both on and off stage ­– while one day hoping to become an advocate for those following in his footsteps. 

Read More

CCRI Players launch 2023-24 season with production of The Laramie Project

CCRI Players launch 2023-24 season with production of The Laramie Project

October 02, 2023

On a day that has become synonymous with the American gay rights movement, the CCRI Players launch their 2023–24 theatre season with a production of The Laramie Project, a revealing look at the reaction to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard.

Read More

Getting to Know: Ashley Casiano

Getting to Know: Ashley Casiano

September 25, 2023

CCRI's new Director of Athletics, Recreation and Wellness is looking to foster a culture of respect, communication, inclusion and competitiveness, while nurturing wellness and fitness programs that will support life-long health practices at the college.

Read More

Upcoming Events

Oct.
23

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project FLC (CTE)

October 23, 2023 All Day

Online

Oct.
23

Transparency in Course Design for Student Success

October 23, 2023 All Day

Online

Oct.
23

Effective Practices in Teaching Online

October 23, 2023 All Day

Online

Oct.
30

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project FLC (CTE)

October 30, 2023 All Day

Online

Oct.
30

Transparency in Course Design for Student Success

October 30, 2023 All Day

Online

Oct.
30

Effective Practices in Teaching Online

October 30, 2023 All Day

Online

Nov.
6

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project FLC (CTE)

November 6, 2023 All Day

Online

Nov.
6

Transparency in Course Design for Student Success

November 6, 2023 All Day

Online

Nov.
6

Effective Practices in Teaching Online

November 6, 2023 All Day

Online

Nov.
13

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project FLC (CTE)

November 13, 2023 All Day

Online