By Cindi Mercati.
Cast: 5m., 5w. (doubling or expansion to 20 or more possible.) Faces of Freedom is a vivid theatrical experience, using both an ensemble and monologues, to tell the true stories of the young immigrants of today, and yesterday. Moving fluidly from past to present and back again, the play interweaves Maria's journey to America in 1907, with Tron's escape from death and imprisonment as a Vietnamese boat person in 1978. Against this backdrop, we meet the newest imigrants: Halima, whose family fled the Taliban, Vida, who is trying to find the courage to cross the first city street she has ever seen. We get to know Juana, whose fast-food counter is her passport to a better world, and Carlos, whose skill with a soccer ball is his entry into a new school. Elena and Luis, a sister and brother from Mexico, are each inventing their own ways to cope with a suddenly unfamiliar life, while Semir, a young Bosnian boy, can only find peace of mind at Dunkin' Donuts. In seeing their stories, we see reflected our family's story of coming to America, and we learn—perhaps for the first time—the story of our newest neighbors, all of different cultures, facing risks and challenges, yet all of us united in our search for freedom. All of us Americans. Students have given this play a gratifying response: "After seeing this play, I could understand the new kids coming into our school and what they went through"; "…this play was funny and sad and made me think." Appropriate for Reader's Theatre. Approximate running time: 1 hour. Flexible staging. Approximate Running Time: 60 minutes.