Students in the Pipeline Project working with Jon Royal and Omari Booker in studio.

The Pipeline Project

Exhibit Opening: October 17th, 5:30-7:00  pm
Show Preview: October 17th, 7:30 pm

Students in the Pipeline Project created art in response to the play, Pipeline, produced by the Nashville Repertory Theater and opening on October 17th at TPAC. Jon Royal and Omari Booker guided these young artists through a process to help them tell their own stories in response to questions asked in the play. Their works of art will be exhibited in the TPAC lobby.

The opening exhibit is free and open to the public. Tickets for the play are available now.


A mother’s hopes for her son clash with an educational system rigged against him in Pipeline, the riveting new play by Dominique Morisseau. Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away? With profound compassion and lyricism, Pipeline brings an urgent conversation powerfully to the fore. Don’t miss this deeply moving story of a mother’s fight to give her son a future — without turning her back on the community that made him who he is.



About the Pipeline Project from the Project’s Director Jon Royal

The play asks questions about our educational system, and how youth can navigate it when they are cut off from support in their own communities. This is a story about teachers, school staff, and parents. The piece is also about love and the fear that love for youth produces when adults would rather remove young people from their own local neighborhoods for fear of what they might become and what might become them, rather than investing in local schools.

The goals of this project are to: 

  • Recruit youth who attend local public schools, including alternative schools, and introduce them to this play through reading, discussion, and role-play.
  • Inspire, and hold space for the students to create visual art that reflects the intersection of their lives to the themes of the play, and pay them a stipend to do so.
  • Incorporate the art that they create into the Rep's production of Pipeline in the fall, by means of an art exhibition in the lobby, or even as part of the design that is employed onstage.

I am a product of the Metro Davidson County Public Schools. Also, as a black male, I've had to navigate systems that have taken me out of my community of origin, in the hopes that what I learned outside of my community, I can bring back there. I have been seeking to do that

by making art that reflects that same community and circumstances that have I've come from.

Jon Royal, Director

Photographs provided by Pirate Siren Photography.

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