OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU TO HOST SHOW ON RACISM, GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION

04/20/2004

CORVALLIS - "Faces of America - American Voices," a 65-minute one-person show that challenges society's view of race, ethnicity, gender, ability and sexual orientation, will be presented at Oregon State University on Thursday, April 29.

Free and open to the public, the 7 p.m. presentation in OSU's Milam Auditorium is sponsored by OSU's Minority Education Office. The show addresses mature themes and the producers say the production is best suited to audiences of high school age and above.

Nine characters, each of a different ethnicity, tell of being an American. One actor portrays all the characters in this self-contained production, which travels across the country with its own set, sound, costumes, props and lighting design. The show was originated by Hollywood-born actress Fran de Leon, but several performers now tour the country performing "Faces" and the producers cannot guarantee who will perform at a specific location.

The show is based on true stories told to its creators. Some characters are a mixture of several real people but the accounts are all purportedly true. A discussion with the actor will follow the performance.

Characters include "Happa," a Japanese-Hungarian woman who begins to understand her heritage through her grandfather's story of immigration and subsequent internment in the American relocation camps during World War II.

A young Latino seeks to challenge the stereotypes of coming from the barrio, while an East Indian American woman's hope of living in a caste-free society is shattered by an on-campus hate crime. Also detailed are an African-American man's views on racism and socio-economics, a young liberal white male's fight against his father's bigotry and the notion of racism being a white disease.

The production was written entirely from interviews and workshops held across the country.