The Band Room
By Avinoam Idhe
The Band Room is a musical journey of perseverance. Lehman College held a staged reading of the play, written by Bruce Purse, in early November. The story is based on Purse’s life and details his journey and experiences growing up a young black teen in the South.
Purse says music is what helped him cope through difficult times in school. “Everyone needs a connector and mine was music,” he says.
The main character Pockets, is played by Rameek Grant Pressley. Pockets is a nickname Purse was given when he was young because of his last name. Pressley, a 24-year-old Bronx native, has been involved in theater and acting from a young age.
“The character I play I feel is relatable to anyone,” he says. “He was someone who went through struggles and strife, but was still able to overcome.”
The play portrays Pocket’s many social ordeals including an abusive father, being ridiculed by a strict music teacher, being bullied, heartbreak in dating, and finding his musical destiny at school. Throughout it all, it is Pocket’s faith and love for music that empowers him to overcome each obstacle.
“I want the audience to understand you have to persevere through all things and decide what is that light inside of you that tells you I can do whatever it is I want to do (and for me) it was music,” says Purse.