LOS ANGELES -- Refugees, an exploration of the hearts and minds of some of America's newest immigrants, has extended its run at L.A.'s Bitter Truth Theatre in NoHo to Aug. 2. The show opened June 20 for a four-week run.
Billed as a "Theatre of Testimony," Refugees is based on the stories playwright Stephanie Satie heard while teaching English as a second language.
"As I listened and learned about my students' hopes, dreams and fears, I experienced a re-birth of my own life as well," Satie said. "The friends with whom I grew up were often second generation Americans or children of refugees from World War II. Members of my own family refused to even acknowledge their European birth and rewrote their history as well as mine."
In Satie's view, recent Russian, Iranian and Armenian refugees who have shared a common history of discrimination and violence inhabit a borderline. "In silence that 'border' stays closed. From the moment I began teaching...I realized that a theatrical event took place every day. I bore witness to the testimony of my 'students.' They in turn bore witness to mine. We all learned, we all taught... By giving voice to their experiences through the means of 'theatre of testimony,' these women dared speak, write, listen and bear witness to each others' testimonies."
Directing is Anita Khanzadian. Performance times at the Bitter Truth, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., are Sat. 8 PM; Sun. 2 PM. A discussion with Satie will follow all matinees. Tickets are $10. Call (818) 755-7900. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent