Sunday, May 16, 2021

Secondary school students from “Orde Copela” from Prilep demonstrate that “We Are All One”

On the 15th of October, 2014, in the “Vojdan Cernodrinski” theatre in Prilep, the play “We Are All One” was performed, which is the product of the creative workshops attended by the students from the Secondary Municipal School “Orde Copela” from Prilep.  This group of students, full of positive energy, demonstrated the power of coexistence and tolerance through creativity, friendship and lots of laughter. The charming and talented secondary school students put forward a brilliant performance under the spotlight of the theatre as if they were professional actors and dancers. They proved that a performance is more beautiful and more powerful when it unites young actors from different ethnic backgrounds.

DSC05531The play comprised of several acts. It started with a modern rhythmic act prepared by the students themselves and continued with a drama play on the topic of love and forbidden love between two young people. The drama play provoked smiles and laughter, but also a few tears in the audience. The story, through humour and drama, depicted the harsh truth about the mixed couples in Macedonia. After the romantic drama play, a creative performance of the story “Siljan the Stork” followed, and the performance ended with Tose Proseki’s song during which all students-actors appeared together on the stage and danced tango.

The group of students that prepared and staged this performance in front of the large audience in the theatre, comprised students from mixed ethnic backgrounds: Vlachs, Macedonians, Albanians, Roma and Turks. They worked and spent time together for months and they managed to create a successful art product which won the hearts of everyone. The creative workshops are one of the key segments of the USAID Interethnic Integration in Education Project that are implemented in partnership with the Performing Arts Center Multimedia.

After the performance, students from the audience and the young actors attended a Forum –Theatre workshop managed and moderated by the famous actors Keti and Goran Ilik, who also mentored the creative workshops. The scene and the “dilemma” of this forum theatre debate, in which the audience also participated, was whether the school band should take the Roma girl, who is an excellent clarinet player. “The oppressor” (a role in a hypothetical scene), who was playing one of the band members, openly opposed the Roma girl to join the band, whereas the other members of the band and the audience were trying to find ways to make him change his mind.  The students in the audience intervened in the scene with creative solutions which eventually, to the general satisfaction of the audience, resulted in changing the oppressor’s mind, who gave in and gave the girl with the clarinet a chance.

DSC05550All students, teachers, actors and organisers of this great event, in which values of coexistence, tolerance and integration dominated, deserve our sincere compliments. This school from Prilep set an example for all secondary schools and for all young people in this country that when we are all one and when we are together success is guaranteed.