As an arts reporter who says she’s “always intrigued by artists in any field who are more committed to doing good than advancing their own careers,” Simi Horwitz dived eagerly into reporting this issue’s story of how theatre artists are addressing the global refugee crisis in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. That artists are using theatre “as an educational and ‘healing’ tool was not a surprise,” Horwitz says, but another practice especially intrigued her. “Employing refugees—non-professional actors—to tell their own stories in their own voices was an eye-opener to me, raising all kinds of questions, from how theatre is being redefined to what audiences are experiencing as they watch these new theatrical genres.”
An immigrant from Honduras, theatre and film critic Jose Solís says he’s been chilled by the surge of “xenophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant rhetoric” since the 2016 election, but also called to “something akin to a mission: For as long as I live here, it’s my job to elevate the voices of those this administration is trying to oppress.” For his story on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, a.k.a. “Dreamers,” working in the theatre, he not only got to “shine a light on the work of amazing theatremakers all over the country,” he also got to feel “a sense of community and connection with total strangers who shared the plea of the immigrant, loved theatre as much as the next white person, and understood my Spanglish.”
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