Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood is known for its diversity and unique mix of immigrant populations. The young people who live there often struggle with issues like poverty, immigration and race relations, and very successful youth theater in the neighborhood has gained national attention for its thought-provoking exploration of those topics by, for and about youth.
The theater's newest play takes on the controversial immigration issue through short vignettes that tell several stories about immigrants' struggles. Students are encouraged to tell their own stories, from living without documentation to visiting a parent who has been detained by customs enforcement.
The teens and adults who have participated in the Albany Park Theater Project say it is a positive force in the community and gives youth from all backgrounds a unique opportunity to express themselves.
"People come here and they show up and they realize that it's more than just the opportunity to just be on the stage and perform and be an actress. We're telling the stories of people who are often ignored or stigmatized." - Maggie Popadiak, associate director, Albany Park Theater Project
"Well, APTP really gave me that hope that I can go to college. And so throughout my high school years, you know, I started to do the best thing I can, straight-A student, everything." - Bladimir Orduno, APTP participant
1. What is the purpose of theater?
2. What is community theater?
3. What extracurricular activities do you participate in? Why?
1. If you were to choose a part of your life to express through theater, what would you tell? Why?
2. How do you think participating in APTP has helped the students in the video?
3. Is there an extracurricular activity that you participate in that gives you confidence in other parts of your life? How does it help you?