Hear My Story: Newcomer Voices
- Wednesday, May 30
- 7:00 PM
- North High School LGI
- FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC
- Limited Seating - 100 seats
On Wednesday, May 30th, the Appleton North High School Theatre Seminar/Production and Acting classes will present an original theatrical piece entitled “HEAR MY STORY: NEWCOMER VOICES” at 7:00 P.M. in the Large Group Instruction Room at North High School. The hour-long play features verbatim monologues derived from one on one interviews of North’s Newcomer students conducted and performed by members of North’s theatre class. North theatre educator and director Ron Parker states, “This project is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the theatre students and those recent arrivals who are part of North’s English Language Learners program. We have students from virtually every corner of the globe: Africa, Asia, Central and South America who have come to Appleton for a variety of reasons but who all share the universal desire learn and grow. These “newcomer” students have very limited English skills which makes both communication and socialization difficult challenges. We began the school year by bringing the Theatre and ELL classes together through a grant provided by the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center which centered around the theme of “Getting to Know You” which is the signature song from the musical THE KING AND I. During the course of many weeks, the two groups of students learned about each other and shared their stories, despite the language obstacles. What they all realized is that despite their different backgrounds and experiences, they were very much alike.
Unfortunately for most of the North student body, the Newcomer students remain a mystery. Their inability to communicate, due to their current limited ability to speak English, creates a barrier to meaningful connection and understanding. We decided that through the medium of theatre it might be possible to bridge this divide and provide a way for these amazing young people who have come here from all over the world to share their stories with their peers and community.
We began by pairing each Newcomer student with a member of the theatre class. Over the course of a several days, interviews were conducted and the student’s responses recorded. Then, the theatre students transcribed the interviews and edited them down into short monologues using only the exact words of the student they interviewed
These verbatim pieces were then rehearsed to present in performance. . Each theatre student will portray the newcomer student they interviewed in a one to two minute monologue. Each monologue will be accompanied by projected images of the newcomer student whose story is being told. It is our hope that this project will open the door to acceptance, appreciation, and understanding for all who call Appleton home.” Jean Pynenberg, North Humanities instructor who teaches the ELL students whose stories make up the play said, “This experience has provided valuable lessons for ALL involved- teachers and students alike—We have been able to celebrate diversity, recognize similarities, share stories and consider the role we each play in our school culture. I am excited to see HEAR MY STORY: NEWCOMER VOICES and know it will carry the valuable lesson of acceptance to all who take advantage of the opportunity to see it!”
The play will be performed for North student body during the school day on May 30th prior to the public performance that evening. Admission is free, but seating is restricted to 100 people. Both the school and public performances will be followed by a brief talk back. For further information, contact Ron Parker, director at 832-4300 or via e-mail email@example.com .
Appleton North HS Theatre is excited to announce our 2019 musical: Newsies!
Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged "newsies." When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right!
Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots). Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience.
Ron Parker, director
ANHS Theatre Department, 5000 Ballard RD, Appleton, WI 54913
920-832-4300 (school main office)
Ticket Box Office 920-997-3994
Website, photo, or media questions? Catherine McKenzie ~ firstname.lastname@example.org