Monday, August 2, 2010
Last Friday evening I attended a performance of "Hearts for Haiti" at Luna Stage on Valley Road in West Orange. This theater project involved a cast of young people from the area, many of them from Haiti or of Haitian descent. They had worked with theater professionals over the past month, exploring in journals, drawings, and sculptures the story of what had happened in Haiti. From this work, they had created a play to share with their families, friends and neighborhs. The play opened by showing us scenes of everyday life in Haiti: a man buying a necklace at a jeweler's, two girls going to the beach, two men fishing. Their staggering bodies and sharp thwacks on a plastic bucket took us precipitously into the earthquake and all fell down. As those who still lived stood, they mourned their companion who did not. I started to cry at that point. The young people moved directly and quickly to an affirmation of talents, sharing with us their skills at singing, dancing and reciting poetry. This grew in joy and hope to a powerful conclusion in a song the youth had written themselves, "We rise." I found that I was still crying, but happy tears. I hope many people get to see this wonderful show.