From the Teaching Trenches: Carrying the Show in their Hearts

When I was in high school I was in a play called Necessary Targets for OAP. I played Azra. I loved that show, and I have lifelong friends because of it. So a couple of years ago I needed to choose a show for a large amount of girls, and I went back to that play. It was going to be the first time my school competed in OAP, and I wanted to choose something that would challenge my actresses, even though they were in middle school.

So Necessary Targets is set in a Bosnian refugee camp. And it just so happened that one of my colleagues was a refugee from Bosnia. I had her come talk to my girls about her experiences. And this was my proud director moment: they didn’t just listen. They absorbed what she told them. They took it with them on stage. And when the time finally came for them to perform this show at OAP contest, they were giving real life to their characters. After the performance, my colleague cried and told me we had nailed it. She knew those women on stage, and we had told their story beautifully. A lot of people think middle school kids can’t handle heavy drama and more adult themes. But they can.

At the end of the contest three of my actresses got individual acting awards. We didn’t place, but I like to think they’ll carry this show in their hearts the way I did because they were truly amazing.

—RaMina M., Theatre Arts teacher

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