Voices of Now: Peru 2014

In June 2014, the United States Embassy in Lima, Peru invited two artist-educators from Arena Stage’s Community Engagement division to Lima to work with Arena y Esteras, a local theater company comprised of artists, educators and leaders committed to using art as a tool for human development and social transformation. Together, they created the play La Solidaridad/Unity.

Throughout their visit, Arena Stage artists also conducted professional development workshops for teachers, university students, local theater companies, young adults with physical disabilities and elderly community members.

About the Ensemble: The ensemble was made up of professional artists from Arenas y Esteras, as well as a delegation of high school and university students from Villa El Salvador, a neighborhood an hour outside of Lima.

About the play: La Solidaridad/Unity investigated how communities are brought together and how they are pulled apart. It explored issues such as child labor, gender inequity, homophobia and domestic violence and was performed entirely in Spanish. The play’s public premiere kicked off the sixth annual Festicirco Festival, a citywide, multi-arts initiative aimed at bringing arts into in Lima.

About the process: Over the course of six days, the ensemble created the play using writing, movement, discussion and visual arts techniques used as part of Arena Stage’s Voices of Now program.

In Their Own Words

“Solidarity sounds like the song of crickets on a starry night, children laughing and playing at a festival in the Andes…I dream of a Lima that is united, where the people form a river of hope that traverses the city.”

– from La Solidaridad/Unity by the Voices of Now Lima Ensemble

“Solidarity is built with risk. It’s built also with trust. How do we build trust in our community? How do we make change without putting ourselves in danger?”

 from La Solidaridad/Unity by the Voices of Now Lima Ensemble