By Killian Lynch, Features Editor
This April 21st & 22nd we saw the performance of another spectacular Unified Theatre show. Students of all kinds and abilities came together to tell a story, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Forest Grove is home of the only Project Unify Theatre program in the country. It´s a space that allows everyone that wants to perform to tell their stories. When asked what makes Unify Theatre special to her, Unify Theatre participant Bridget Stavens said, ¨It includes everyone, and not all shows do that¨. For many students it´s a highlight to their year. Everyone focuses on their strengths and never weaknesses. John Anderberg, creator and director of the show, has worked hard to spread this program´s message and hopes to see other schools take it on in the future.
As it always does, the show highlighted a serious issue in our community and this time it was teen homelessness. The play followed the stories of multiple homeless students, and they opened our eyes to a problem we may have never considered otherwise. When asked why this message is an important one to spread, student actor Diego Melgar Aguilar said, “the statistics hit hard in Portland, especially in the LGBT+ community”. It’s a true and important statement, and the way these actors made us care was amazing.
They are continuing to spread the word and taking the show on the road. As they have in the past, the students and their stories are going on tour to middle schools in the area to inspire and encourage awareness. Hopefully continuing the dedication and caring we see in the students and adults that keep it running, will lead to Unify setting many stages all over the country. I have no doubt this will spread the information and acceptance in those places, as it has here.
Photos by Photography Editor, Kimo Fong