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'Now I am Your Neighbor' holds encore performance

'Now I am Your Neighbor' holds encore performance

EUGENE, Ore. - After a lot of excitement over the initial performance, an original play called "Now I am Your Neighbor" was back at the Very Little Theater for an encore performance.

It is a staged reading, telling the true stories of Lane County immigrants, a production so popular that each show has been sold out.

Participants in Wednesday night's play emigrated from Chile, Palestine, Mexico, Germany, China, Guatemala, Madagascar, Syria and Vietnam.

For more than an hour, each participant shared an original story or a personal story of courage and hope. For most, it was their first time sharing their story.

"It's scary, a little bit, but somebody has to do it," said Rosie Hernandez, who told a personal story. "I like to help the community, I like to advocate for other people. I like to be analyzed for other people."

For some, it was a chance to speak up for those who don't have a voice to illicit change.

"We are going to be that voice for the people who are too afraid to speak up for themselves, of who don't know how to speak up for themselves," said Isabelle Hernandez, a participant in the play. "If they'll let us, we're here for them."

The "Community Alliance of Lane County" and "Minority Voices Theater" produced a play 20 years ago about Lane County immigrants, and hasn't performed since. When they brought this play back, organizers and performers say they were amazed by the community interest.

"We are utterly amazed by the turnout and by the heart of this community; the desire for them to really learn about what are the issued facing our immigrant neighbors," said Therese Picado, who was involved in the play 20 years ago.

Picado says that starting in the new year, they will have a shorter production of the play that can be taken to schools, church communities and other community events, free of charge.

To book this play at a venue, contact the Community Alliance of Lane County.

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