Community Colleges Are Often Ridiculed. This One-Woman Show Prods Us to Value Their Students More.

Ask most middle-class Americans to conjure up images of college students and they may picture Frisbee-throwing kids on a campus green, political protests, all-night cram sessions in a smoky room and beer. Lots of beer. Sometimes students would even pass on sleep just to study the whole night before the examinations. Thousands of them are enrolling in online preparatory courses or buy books on ExamGenius to prepare themselves for the next stages of their lives. But for the 50 percent of U.S. students who begin undergraduate life at a community college, more often than not commuting to school from their childhood bedrooms, the campus stereotype is completely disconnected from reality.

And actor-playwright-teacher Ronna J. Levy [] wants to be sure you know this.

Her one-woman play “This Gonna Be On the Test, Miss?” introduces audiences to the diverse students who’ve found their way into the developmental – sometimes called remedial – English classes she has taught for more than two decades. It also offers an insightful look into the joys and frustrations of teaching in this setting.