Morgan’s Mumbles: Recent Impactful Performances, by Teen Contributor Morgan Randall
Trigger warning: mention of racism/violence/sexual assault
Over the past few weeks, I have been lucky enough to be able to experience some amazing productions put on by my college. While they all took place virtually I was so thankful for the experience of being able to see work that actively was a voice for those hurting and in need of it. Two amazing performances come to mind right away, these also being the two most recent, a dance performance titled “(Re)Current Unrest” and the play “La Ruta”.
(Re)Current Unrest is a dance piece created by Charles Anderson, which calls to attention the issue within our nation (and the world) of turning a blind eye to racism and hate. It shows how desensitized we have become to acts of violence towards other people. Watching the piece gave me shivers, and I am really grateful that a lot of my classes focused on talking about the performance the week following us watch it. Something really symbolic throughout the whole piece is there are often moments where the names of innocent people who have been killed for the color of their skin are said allowed and the company as a whole laughs through the names. It really shows how our culture has become so numb and oblivious to these blatant acts of hatred. One of my classmates said how it reminded her of how we oftentimes say “we laugh so we don’t cry.” And I think that has become so common within our society that now we oftentimes forget to cry, we just laugh because we never fully process these traumatic experiences since they happen so frequently.
La Ruta, the play I got to watch/read, was written by Isaac Gómez who used real testimonies and stories of the femicide occurring in Juarez, Mexico. The play follows the story of a young girl, 16 years old, and how that impacts her family and those who work with her. I was lucky enough to be able to read the script prior to seeing the performance, which allowed me to have a lot of time to analyze the story. However, it was hard for me to do because this story is based on very real, very traumatic events. It discusses things including sexual assault, murder, and kidnapping of women in Juarez. And this is a very real thing, that is still ongoing. The images of the pink crosses, for the missing girls, is something that haunts me in a way that I don’t think I was ever aware of prior to seeing this piece.
Things like this are often left out of modern media, and I think it is amazing to finally see people using their voices to shed light on horrific situations in our world so that the audiences can go out and enact change. I am so thankful to be apart of a culture that emphasizes the importance of telling stories of those who often don’t get their voices told. I am excited to see more pieces come out, and the other art that is created to shine a light on situations that the modern media glosses over. I encourage you to, if you are in a safe mental space to do so and do not feel like it will cause harm to you, find pieces (these or others) that shed light on heavy topics and watch them. Become more educated, and then share them so others can do the same.
Morgan Randall, Teen Contributor
Morgan recently graduated high school and is currently enrolled to attend college in the fall getting her BA in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis on Design and Technology. She loves theatre, writing, reading, and learning. But something that has always been important to her is being a voice for those who feel like they don’t have one, and being a catalyst for change in any way possible.
Filed under: Art
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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