Teens focus on social issues at Albany Park Theatre Project

August 23, 2012 3:35:28 PM PDT
Students who choose to participate in the Albany Park Theatre Project often start out looking for an afterschool activity -- but the experience quickly morphs into much more.

"Our goal is to inspire people to envision a more just and beautiful world, and that's true for the teenagers who become artist with APTP, and also for the adults who come and see the original theatre that they create," David Feiner, founder Albany Park Theatre Project, said.

The performers explore issue of social importance and give voice to people who may not consider themselves part of the mainstream.

"We just want everybody to be educated about the subject and not to make stereotypes," Stephany Perez, 17, said.

The group recently presented a play called "Home/land," which they wrote and produced. It depicts the real-life struggles of immigrants seeking opportunities in the U.S.

"The stories that they tell are very similar to the stories in my life. They're very real and I like very much that I can connect with them," Perez said.

The activism is often carried off-stage and into the community. Leading up the production, the young actors participated in protests of a new immigrant detention center to be built in south suburban Crete. For some, it was a life-affirming experience.

"We come here and we realize we all have a central issue that we want to focus on and we work and we work and we work and we know that we're not putting hours into nothing... we see tangible results," Lilia Escobar, 17, said.

Find out about upcoming Albany Park Theatre Project productions at aptpchicago.org. APTP will be featured in the upcoming exhibit, Choosing to Participate. the exhibit encourages visitors to consider the consequences of their choices and aims to inspire them to make a difference in their schools and communities.

Choosing to Participate opens August 27th at the Harold Washington Cultural Center. Learn about the exhibit at choosingtoparticipate.org.


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