Monday, February 29, 2016

Hair Like the Sun - Why Ruth?
While I'm certain that Hair Like the Sun will prompt many questions, it's one of the things I'm hoping for, there's one question I'm certain will come up. Why is the main character in a play about the Japanese Internment Camps a white, teenage girl? That is a fair question, and I'd like to answer it now.

The first reason is that this play is a true story. Ruth Mix really was a white, teenage girl who spent the majority of World War II volunteering in the Gila River internment camp. Obviously, Ruth's story isn't the only story to come out of this tragedy. But it is one of the stories, and it is a story worth telling. Hopefully this will be the first of many such stories about the internment camps.

The second reason is that Ruth serves as an audience surrogate. The sad truth is that not a lot of people really know about the internment camps. Even if they know of them, they don't really know how horrible they were. By following Ruth's journey into the camps, they are able to learn through Ruth's eyes. As she discovers more horrors, they discover them as well.

Sometimes it takes an outsider to help other outsiders understand. Ruth is exactly that outsider. Her journey will educate the audience, and it's my hope that they don't soon forget what they learned. If telling the story from Ruth's perspective allows the audience to finally comprehend this part of our history, then the play has done its job.

As I said before, I hope this play, this story, prompts others to tell their stories about the horrors of the camps. I want it to make people look for the parallels in our current events and understand why we cannot let this happen ever again. This is something that needs to be talked about from every perspective. Because hopefully one of those perspectives connects with the audience that needs it the most.

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