We Are Neighbors: The touring version of Now, I Am Your Neighbor

Creative Arts for Immigrant Rights and Justice

Now, I Am Your Neighbor: The full length play

Now I am your Neighbor (one-hour play) is an original play telling the true stories of courage, hopefulness and resilience of immigrants and refugees living in Lane County. Originally produced by Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), in partnership with Minority Voices Theatre (MVT) in fall 2017, the play was inspired by a piece created and performed 20 years ago, as part of the “We Are Neighbors” project of CALC and Network for Immigrant Justice, which included the play, and a photography exhibit (see below) and quilt, all featuring Lane County immigrants.

The new play includes references from the 1996 play but is primarily based on new interviews with members of some of the most targeted and marginalized groups living in the Eugene-Springfield area, including Muslims, undocumented immigrants, DREAMers, and Syrian refugees. These stories, generously shared, were woven together in a creative narrative by local playwright Nancy Hopps. Directed by Carol Dennis, with original music by Ricardo Cardenas, the play will be produced as a staged reading by readers who are immigrants themselves or very close to the immigrant experience. See below for more information on the cast’s countries of origin and one cast member’s story.

Schedule of Full Length Performances
The Very Little Theatre Stage Left, 2350 Hilyard St, Eugene, OR:
Friday, September 14, at 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 15, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, September 16, at 2 pm
The Wildish Theater, 630 Main Street in Springfield, OR:
Thursday, September 20, at 7:30 pm
The Blue Door Theatre, Lane Community College,
4000 E. 30th Ave., Eugene

Saturday, October 13, 6 pm  
TBA: play at Springfield High School, 875 7th St, Springfield, OR 97477

For the VLT performance, tickets are free atwww.brownpapertickets.com/event/3597005. For the Wildish performance, tickets are $2 at the Wildish box office at www.wildishtheater.com or 541.868.0689. A suggested donation of $5-$25 will be collected at the door. All proceeds will be donated to Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) to fund our immigrant justice work.

“In my 40-plus years in theatre, this is the first time I have directed a production with a cast predominantly comprised of minority or underrepresented people, and I am honored and humbled to help facilitate the telling of stories that reflect the experiences of all the people in our community, especially those who are particularly vulnerable during these times when fear of ‘the other’ is being fanned,” says Carol Dennis. “Through this unique theatre experience, I am also hopeful that our audience will be moved to re-envision what it means to be neighbors in a community and country that is becoming increasingly more diverse.”

The one-hour play will be followed by a community discussion in which members of the audience are welcome to share their feedback, experience and observations.

Now I Am Your Neighbor is made possible by a grant from the University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. For more information about the “We Are Neighbors” project, including booking performances, contact CALC at www.calclane.org or 541.485.1755.

We Are Neighbors: The touring play

A half-hour, touring version of the play has been produced in nearly 20 schools, places of worship and community events across Eugene and Springfield since March 2018.

The half-hour play will also be followed by a community discussion in which members of the audience are welcome to share their feedback, experience and observations.

We Are Neighbors (Half Hour Play) Schedule
**Please contact these venues before attending performances.

Sunday, September 16, at 10 a.m. church services at First Congregational Church, 1050 E 23rd Ave, Eugene, OR 97405
Sunday, October 14, 2-4 p.m. at Lutheran Church United, 2230 Washington St, Eugene, OR 97405 (Hosted by Friendly Area Neighbors, the play will be followed by a presentation on “Why Don’t They Just Get in Line? How our immigration system works, or doesn’t?”)
Friday, October 19, 12 noon, Delta Rotary Club: Call 541.686.1641, for more information**
Sunday, November 11, at 1 p.m. at Unity of the Valley Church, 3912 Dillard Rd, Eugene, OR 97405

TBA: play at Marist High School, 1900 Kingsley Rd, Eugene, OR 97401

Book the We Are Neighbors play at your venue now:

The half-hour play is available to be produced free of charge at schools, places of worship, and community events. To book the play, contact Therese Picado at therese@picadocurtis.net.

We Are Neighbors: The photo exhibit

We Are Neighbors is a photo exhibit featuring residents of Lane County who came to the United States as immigrants. Updated in 2017, the exhibit was originally created by CALC in 1996, and has been shown in many locations since then. It celebrates the contributions and inspirational life stories of immigrants as integral members of our community, and is available for display throughout the county.

Photo Exhibit Schedule
Please note that the first and last day of the exhibit dates vary from one month to the next. Please contact the hosts for more details.

Sept 2018: First Congregational Church, 1050 East 23rd Ave, Eugene, 541-345-8741
Oct 2018: Agnes Stewart Middle School,  900 S 32nd St, Springfield, 541-988-2520. Members of the public can come in to view the exhibit Mon- Fri, 10-2pm, and should check in at the main office.
Nov 2018: Guy Lee Elementary School,  755 Harlow Rd, Springfield, 541-744-6391. 
Dec 2018: International Human Rights Day Celebration, location, date & time TBA
Jan-Feb 2019: Eugene Public Library,  100 W 10th Ave, Eugene, 541-682-5450

To host the exhibit for one-month showings, contact Emily Heilbrun at eheilbrun@gmail.com, or give her a call at 541-484-1371.

The Cast’s Countries Of Origin

The countries of origin and experiences of all of those featured in the play are indeed diverse. Participants emigrated from Palestine, Germany, Mexico, Guatemala, China, Madagascar, and Syria.

Rosie’s Story

Rosie Hernandez is one of the people whose story is featured in the play and photography exhibit and is a reader in the play. She came to northern California from Mexico City in 1987 when she was not quite 19 years of age. She did not speak English when she arrived in the U.S. and worked as a migrant farm worker, while raising young children. Ultimately, this mother of three became a manager of housekeeping in area hotels and has volunteered extensively for the Springfield Police Department, Womenspace and her children’s schools. In reflecting on the current political environment, often hostile toward immigrants, Hernandez, who recently became a U.S. citizen, has this to say,

“Instead of judging others for being different, learn from others. Get to know the people. And I think we will have a better place, a better country. And the kids….can learn in a healthier environment.”