Us/Them by Carly Wijs
Saturday, September 10 + Sunday, September 11 • 4pm + 7pm
@ Graffiti Warehouse
Five months into the crisis in Ukraine, Sisters Freehold brings Carly Wijs’ powerful play to Baltimore as a fundraiser for Save the Children’s Children’s Emergency Fund.
In September 2004, a group of terrorists stormed School Number One in Beslan, Russia, taking hundreds of children, their parents and teachers hostage. The ensuing siege lasted three days and left 333 people dead, 186 of whom were children. Us/Them recounts those 3 harrowing days through the eyes of two children: Girl and Boy.
Us/Them is not a straightforward account of this terrible tragedy, but an exploration of the entirely individual way children cope with traumatic situations. Over the course of 60 minutes, Girl and Boy (Anna DeBlasio and Quincy Vicks) introduce us to their town and school, build the world of their experience, and try to make sense of the incomprehensible.
“This story resonates strongly right now on two different levels—one domestic and one global, “ says director Natka Bianchini. “American schoolchildren endure a constant, low-level of trauma every year through the specter of school shootings and gun violence, a horror we all experienced anew in May with the horrific shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas Second, the world has watched the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February 2022. We have witnessed the images of the bombed-out maternity hospitals, the mothers fleeing with their children on crowded trains and buses, the empty strollers left for refugee children crossing the border into Poland.”
Playwright Carly Wijs adds: “It is essential that we don’t stop thinking and reflecting and analyzing. Only by doing so can we get to the origins of these atrocities—and then, we hope, start to think about preventing them.”
All proceeds go directly to Save the Children’s Children’s Emergency Fund, which responds directly to emergencies like Ukraine, Yemen, Syria and where needs are greatest globally.
Performances run Saturday and Sunday September 10 & 11, 2022 at Graffiti Warehouse: 128 W North Avenue, 21201. Tickets are available now at https://www.sistersfreehold.org/usthem.