Asolo Rep Features Documentary Theater Project FACES OF CHANGE: GROWING AMERICA Tonight
In celebration of the richly diverse American melting pot, Asolo Rep will host its second annual documentary theatre project Faces of Change: Growing America. The original play will explore the experiences of local immigrants - their arduous journeys, daily struggles and triumphs, and what it truly means to be an American immigrant in 2014. Faces of Change will be tonight and tomorrow, March 21 and 22 at 7:30pm in Asolo Rep's Cook Theatre. Each performance will be followed by a question and answer session with the cast and creators. Admission is free, however tickets are required. Tickets are available by visiting Asolo Rep's Box Office, located in the lobby of the theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, by visiting www.asolorep.org or calling 947-351-8000 or 800.361.8388.
Directed and conceived by Asolo Rep's award-winning Education & Outreach department, Faces of Change strives to provide insight and awareness while promoting open dialogue within the community. The Faces of Change team, comprised of Asolo Rep staff and community members, has interviewed more than 30 local immigrants since December 2013. Their experiences were transformed into a script, featuring the stories of a Holocaust survivor, an immigration officer, and those who journeyed from Central and South America, Cuba, Ireland, Thailand, South Africa, and more. While the immigrants traveled from vastly different parts of the globe, their stories share one significant commonality - they all continue to make great sacrifices in order to achieve the coveted American dream.
"To have the chance to connect with members of the Sarasota community and present their stories alongside the American Character Project at Asolo Rep is really extraordinary and exciting. Faces of Change is opening up the doors of this theatre to what is going on in life right now," said Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards.
"People should see action on stage in front of them of what they don't want to see in real life. Representing our stories with theatre will help people think differently," said Manuel Chepote, a local immigrant from Peru who contributed his story to this season's play.
The original documentary theatre piece follows last season's highly successful Faces of Change program, which examined the state of segregation in Sarasota. This year's piece was inspired by two of Asolo Rep's 2013-2014 productions. Playing through April 12, Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come! tells the heartwarming story of a young Irishman the night before he leaves for America. Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, playing from March 12 through April 19, chronicles the Joad family's hopeful cross-country journey to create a new life. Faces of Change: Growing America, which will be performed by local immigrants and actors, continues the second season of Asolo Rep's five-year American Character Project, an in-depth examination of this country's past, present and future.
"Whether a person immigrates to the U.S. for survival or progress, many make incredible sacrifices for themselves and their families. This is a story of human perseverance. Would you walk here from Guatemala? Would you take a make-shift raft here from Cuba? Would you leave your grandfather on his deathbed? Would you risk your marriage? Would you leave all the things you know for a small glimmer of safety, hope, or growth?" said Tiffany Ford, Asolo Rep's Education and Outreach Specialist and Director of Faces of Change.