I Ain’t Got No Home is a play about the Great Depression presented by the students and staff at daVinci Arts Middle School, 2508 NE Everett and written by Ruth Jenkins, Tom Beckett and the daVinci students who interviewed seniors in the area about their experiences living through the Depression.
Jenkins’ fascination for the stories behind the music of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, her parents’ stories and the realization that circumstances in contemporary America mirror that era led her to the project. “We’re living in a time of huge disparities between the haves and the have-nots,” she said.
Unable to find an already-written play appropriate for a middle schoolers, drama teacher Beckett suggested students take the opportunity to write the story. The classes agreed saying “Some Depression Era folks might not be with us much longer and we should hear what they have to say”. People from many different parts of the country moved here during those years to escape hardship.
The classes took day trips to senior living residences, listened to guest speakers, watched The Grapes of Wrath and read about the Dust Bowl years. Then they wrote scenes and monologues and the teachers picked students’ stories to frame the play.
Now Jenkins, new drama teacher Nicole Accuardi and a cast of students present the production complete with music from the time and a live bluegrass band to play it. Performances are November 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7 pm. November 23 at 2 pm is a special presentation day for community elders. Tickets $10 reserved, $5 general and for seniors.
Reservations at 503.916.5356. Info is at www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/davinci .