You are in a dry and scorching desert. You have no water, no money, and almost no hope.
It is you and your family. Your goal is to try to establish a better life for your family in a new place. You see the edge of the journey, and begin to feel relief. However, this feeling leaves as quickly as it comes. You are turned away at the last second, and left for dead in the desert.
This is a reality for many people in the world. “Green Card,” the play presented by the Hesston College Theater Department Nov. 9, 10, 16, 17 and 18, dives into the lives of immigrants as they share their stories of how they got here.
The actor portrayals of these people were well done. At one point, you hear from a Lithuanian Jew, and then a Vietnamese political leader shares his story. Not all of the stories are true, but the experiences are. Green Card portrays a surreal experience of these immigrants as they deal with their struggles in their homelands, and then in America. The characters share with the audience how they desperately needed to leave their homes. The violence and torture they were dealing with there was too much to handle. They then snuck onto ships, which were on a route to the United States. However, they experienced new pain once they arrived here in the form of segregation and judgment.
It was obvious to me how much time the actors and actresses put into preparing. Each one had multiple characters they depicted with differing backgrounds, and the actors represented them spectacularly. Remembering to be the correct character, and having the matching mood for it must have been very difficult, but it was not too much of a task for any of them to accomplish. I specifically remember Freshman David Penner, who portrayed at least four characters, each with differing accents. He, along with the other actors, did a fine job in portraying all of these differing roles. The heart and soul they showed in their facial expressions and tone was fantastic and matched very well with how these people would really have felt.
The scenes changed often, with each new scene beginning to unravel a different story. We were warned before the play started that it may be a little difficult to follow and I felt a bit lost throughout. However this is not a play with a chronological sequence of events. I felt it was a nice change of pace. This story is also not all pain and sorrow. There are humorous pieces thrown in every now and then, which I felt was a very nice touch. Freshman Amber Davis and Sophomore Demi Brummer had the roles of two rich and snobby American women, who would chatter about the daily gossip and the mumblings of immigrants going about the town. This portrayal of Americans as ignorant and blunt gave the audience needed moments of relief from previous intense scenes.
I hope you were able to see this production at some point. It was an eye opening experience for me. The cast made me feel like I was right there with them, experiencing these times of hardship and misery. Every single actor and actress did a fine job, and it was easy to see it was well directed. The stage looked great, and the lights and sound were run very well. It was a great experience, and everyone involved should feel proud for the work put into it.