Approximately 100 bodies packed the preschool classroom where the Sunday services in Kolet take place. Those who arrived later clung to the windows from the outside to catch the show. As I looked around the audience, standing in the back, I could see the sweat streaming down their rich dark skin, babies suckling on their mothers´ breast, children crawling between legs to go further up, but their eyes fixed on the action in the front of the room. I stood in disbelief as I witnessed the group of eight feed off the energy of the audience, improvising and hooking the spectators/spec-actors, having them roaring with laughter and interacting with the characters on stage. “God, these are the same that started with me a few months back, the lacked the courage to speak up loud enough for me to hear.” The miracles continue.
The conversation about the play and the possible solutions continues. People are still playing the game, searching for solutions in their own minds. In our own house on Sunday the conversations revolved around the play and the situation in the educational system, Nazareth and Rose, both discussing possibilities for the oppression to come to an end.
I knew nothing as to what would come out of Theater of the Oppressed in Jean Rabel and tried to follow the Divine Spirit with the eight, taking it day by day.
A missioner who began working in the Northwest of Haiti eight years ago saw the play last Thursday, before we presented it to an audience. After seeing the play we sat together and she asked me, “Luisely, you know that what you are doing in there is not simply theater, right?” “Yes,” I answered. “People in high places may not like you shining the light on these realities.” “Yes,” I answered.
The troop will travel around the department (state) by foot performing in different communities. Tomorrow we will present the play for a group of 48 educators from around the state. May the Holy One continue guiding us, giving us the courage and wisdom to continue seeking the truth, challenging one another, questioning systems, shining light on the oppression in search of justice. May we Love one another through theater, through laughter, drums, and tears.
P.S.: Neida, you are right, step by step (drenched in faith).