Actors to perform for peace world summit

April 22, 2012 8:48:42 PM PDT
Four actors are in Chicago as part of a world summit of Nobel peace laureates.

The actors will portray Nobel peace laureates in a play that will also feature student actors from the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

The 12th annual summit begins Monday.

They are all highly acclaimed actors but they come to Chicago for one purpose, human rights.

Alfre Woodard, Gloria Ruben, Laura Innes and Richard Kind hope their participation in the world summit of Nobel peace laureates will inspire young people to care.

"The young have always found to question whatever is going on around them so it's great when we gather with people who activists, laureates who are just regular people who took a stand," Woodard said.

"There has to be something that jars them into the next level," said Innes. "Maybe things like this will set the tone for them and give them inspiration."

This group of actors hopes to inspire by acting out Voices From Behind the Dark. It is a first-person testimony of 50 known human rights activists and the moving stories of 30 unknown from around the world.

"We have all had the experience when the story hits the heart that is when people care," Ruben said.

"Anybody can be a part of a movement and anybody can make a change just by showing up," said Kind.

Using their celebrity to give the voiceless a voice is something all of these actors say is something they are proud to do.

"I got some great jobs acting and I get to do amazing things like this," Innes said.

"Seeing and reading about suffering around the world I will do anything I can help out," Kind said.

Getting involved in the human rights cause came at different times for all the actors.

For Rubin, she became involved after playing an HIV positive physician's assistant on the TV show "ER".

Kind says his human rights days goes back to when he was part of Second City here in Chicago, Innes says she leaned to care from her parents, while Woodard says being an African American female during the civil rights movement.