On Sept. 28-30, a group of Hinkley High School students will use live theater to deal with issues of immigration and diversity that they face every day. Hinkley students will address their own struggles with these issues through a series of monologues and a one-act play. Hinkley High School is one of the most diverse schools in the metro area.
“Through the course of the show, there has been one thing I did not fully understand: why immigration was controversial. But as I thought about the play we’re performing, it all began to make sense. That was my purpose--to understand my character's story and portray it," said senior Monique Sias.
To prepare for the presentation, students researched their own heritages as well the history and laws that govern immigration. Through poetry, prose and set to music, the students will passionately voice their concerns about immigration and diversity. "The students do not choose sides, but deal openly and honestly with the issues," said theater teacher Annell Weissenbuehler.
"This hopefully will not only be seen as just a play. For me, this was an eye-opening experience into a new world of struggles, sorrows, and stories. On a more personal level, it is human, and everyone can appreciate and relate to that," senior Jordan Peterson said.
The students will perform on a gray stage that symbolizes diversity and that immigration is not a just black and white issue. Each student will wear a different color of the rainbow to represent all the peoples of the world.
"This play has taught me above all that race and national origin are divisions we have created to separate ourselves. We are really all the same; we are all humans searching for somewhere to call home," junior James Bonner said.
Community College of Aurora Arts and Humanities Chair Wayne Gilbert attended a rehearsal. "I was stunned by the courage, honesty, integrity and heart with which the Hinkley actors perform," he said.
In addition to presenting these personal monologues, the 45 students will perform, "Faces of Freedom," a one-act play written by Cynthia Metcalf. The performance will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28- 30 at Hinkley High School, 1250 Chambers Road.