(October 8th, 2019 -- Jersey City) On Friday, October 7th, Living Voices visited Explore once again to present “Island of Hope”.
“Island of Hope”, a one man show, follows a family as they escape the oppression of their “old country” and adventure to a new life in the new world. As the students watched the performance they were able to experience the struggle to leave their home and discover life at Ellis Island during its busiest years. The students were able to understand the fears and dreams of every hopeful American immigrant.
Explore Middle School’s 1st marking period thematic unit, led by the English language arts instructors, is “Identity”. “Island of Hope” provided the students the chance to understand how many immigrants’ identities began to change long before they even reached Ellis Island. The 8th grade students made even greater connections to the performance as they visited Ellis Island just last week.
“The show was very moving. I came here from another country as well, but I was only 3. When I arrived here, it was hard for me to communicate with others and to fit in so I made a lot of connections with the main character in that way. Throughout the show, the main character’s identity slowly starts to change. The changes in my identity came quickly when we came to America because the friends I had made really embraced me. The same happened for the main character, but I know that doesn’t always happen for everyone and I couldn’t help but think about that as I watched,” Kavya Shah, 8th grade shared following the performance.
Living Voice will return in March to perform “The New American” as a part of the 3rd marking period thematic unit, “Culture and Diversity”.