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“Rising Water” Play Addresses Youth-on-Youth Violence

Pat Kenney
Campus News Editor

Violence. It’s unavoidable. It’s everywhere. It feasts and indulges itself on anyone who is willing to accept it into his or her life, even youth.

Youth-on-youth violence is an ongoing problem not only in Springfield, but all across the United States. In 2010 alone, 4,828 people from ages 10-14 were victims of homicide, which is the nation’s second-leading cause of death in the youth population.

“Its scary,” stated Ryan Louis, a sophomore member of Multicultural Affairs. “There is always the possibility that it could happen to you or a friend or anyone.”

This past weekend, Jelupa Productions and the Multicultural Affairs Office presented the play “Rising Water” in order to bring awareness to this growing problem. The play addressed youth-on-youth violence and how it affects the families, friends and communities of the victims.

With an emphasis on impact, the play focused on a shooting and how that affected not only the victim’s family and friends, but also the shooter’s family and friends and how they had to deal with their son killing another youth.

“These situations happen in real life,” said Louis. “Although they may not have happened to you or me, they do happen.”

The truth of the matter is that these things do happen everywhere, and the point of the play was to bring awareness to the SC population on what happens when shootings and homicides occur.

The play, written by Wilma Pruitt and directed by Leslie L’Kuicha Parks, utilized Greater Springfield actors, including some SC students such as sophomore Jasmine Jiles.

Knowledge is power. Youths who are knowledgeable about violence and its effects on everyone can make a difference. They have the power to change the statistics of homicides from increasing to decreasing every year.

It’s your choice, so stand up and make a difference.

The Multicultural Affairs Office is also sponsoring another performance called “FO N’ ALE  We Must Go.” This play, by First Generation, incorporates five different languages (Kirundi, Nepali, Creole, Amharic and English) to tell a story about the melancholy of leaving.

Seven travelers, originating from around the world, have left their homelands for different reasons but find themselves traveling the same path. This play displays a waking dreamscape in which the past, present and future are interchangeable.

“FO N’ ALE We Must Go” will be performed in the Fuller Arts Center on Saturday, September 21st at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 22nd at 2 p.m. All are encouraged to come and watch as the travelers find themselves and their purposes.

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