Booker T. Washington’s Presidential Scholar wants to elevate Black theatre in Dallas

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Emir Price is making Dallas ISD history as the first U.S. Presidential Scholar from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Theatre Program.

A national ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June will honor Price and 160 other outstanding American high school seniors named Presidential Scholars. While Price appreciates the national recognition, his life goal is much more local: he wants to elevate Black theatre in Dallas.

Price’s mother, Guinea Bennett-Price, is a Booker T. Washington HSPVA teacher and co-founder/co-artistic director of Soul Rep Theatre Company, which provides transformative Black theatre in Dallas.

Price, who will attend Howard University in the fall, wants to return to Dallas after he graduates and help run the theatre company.

“It’s work that I believe in,” he said. “It’s educating and informative for people in South Dallas who might not consider theatre as a medium of art that is important.”

Price discovered his love of theatre in junior high when his mom asked—well, technically told him—to be in a play her theatre company was producing. Price ended up loving it, leading him to attend Booker T. Washington HSPVA and pursuing theatre as his future. He now wants to bring that same love of theatre to the Black community in Dallas.

“Theatre breeds empathy. If you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, that can do amazing things for some kid from South Dallas who thinks everyone is his enemy,” Price said. “My mission is to use my art to better serve my community.”

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