In Need of A New Perspective

Will Nuelle Co Editor in Chief Many students didn’t know what to think leaving the auditorium. There was a wide range of responses among students to Friday’s play by About Face Theatre. The play focused on the issues that immigrants, specifically sexual minority immigrants, deal with in the US. But some question if its jarring approach was the best way to go about the topic. Students exited the theatre after the play and each person buzzed with their own opinion on the performance. Opinions ranged from appreciation for the performance, to confusion and surprise, to disapproval of the performance. But either way, it got students talking. Sophomore Sandy Nyugen, who is a part of About Face Theatre, enjoyed the play (it was the first time she’d seen it) and said, “The performance felt powerful and fresh… I think it’s good to bring something like this to Latin, it creates really interesting thought and discussion amongst students.” But not all students thought so favorably of the play’s various messages. Junior Michael Herman felt that the play was “aimed at pushing the liberal agenda of Latin.” He argued that the play was “un-American.” Michael mentioned that he would be working with the Young Republicans to bring in a Conservative-minded speaker to Latin. However, it was not the message that threw many kids off. Of all the students I talked to, Michael was the only one who disagreed with the message. Other students felt that the play presented an unbalanced viewpoint to an otherwise important topic. Senior Kathryn Garrett agreed with the play’s political stance, but felt the delivery was “aggressive… They made [all characters] who didn’t agree with the play’s stance take an extreme position (like the girl whose dad was fired) and made them out to be the villain of the play, so it didn’t really allow for any discussion or debate.” Her doubts about the effectiveness of the play stemmed from, as she described, its inability to present a balanced approach. She added that in the future, “It could be beneficial to have each side represented and make their argument using facts. I think students would then be able to see which side they align with more.” Sophomore Chris Barboi also felt strongly about the play’s unbalanced approach, saying, “I thought the play immaturely and ignorantly expressed a viewpoint… I don’t know how one can have a theme of social justice in a theatre, but make such brash, strident and unsupported statements about their opposition.” While opinions were mixed, all the students I asked felt that Latin does have a duty to present viewpoints that are different from the norm. Whether that means bringing in a conservative speaker or another About Face play, dealing with opinions different than one’s own is part of the learning process and Latin should continue to put students in positions that make them think about their beliefs.]]>