Community members and Whitman College students performed their take on immigration experiences over the weekend thanks to a grant from the Davis Project for Peace.
Maddy Gold said she, Donovan Olsen, and Erina Horikawa received the $10,000 grant in April and decided to create something that would benefit the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition. However, Horikawa had to leave before the production by La Casa en Común Collective came to fruition, she said.
Eight people enacted the scenes and many others helped with production, Olsen said.
Gold said each part of her home on Waverly Street was broken into themes, including the downstairs, which featured archived and recent articles about the immigration system. The articles focused on the “horrific treatment of immigrants in ICE detention centers and the 33 deaths since 2017 and the inauguration of (President Donald) Trump,” she said.
The kitchen portrayed “sensations and memories,” while a bedroom focused on “connection and reflection,” and the other bedroom for “dialogues created with community members,” and so on, Gold said.
Gold said about 45 people showed up at the production, “La Casa,” on Saturday and Sunday, and about $300 was raised for the WWIRC. Attendees were only asked for donations rather than being charged for tickets, she said. The grant money not used for the production also will go to the WWIRC, she said, adding she was unsure how much remained after giving stipends to those involved with the project.
Olsen said the production wouldn’t occur again, but the group may have others.
“I hope people would start to think more critically about what home means to them and connect that with immigration,” Olsen said. “Ultimately, I hope it creates empathy ... especially for immigrants in the Walla Walla community.”