Reflections by Drama Teacher, Lizanne Wilson

Rohina Malik, actress and playwright, performed her one-woman show Unveiled for our fifth through eighth graders and their teachers on Wednesday, April 5. Her performance was supported by The Betty Weeks Storytelling Fund.

I could hear the students breathing together. The room was silent except for Rohina Malik’s voice telling her stories. For 45 minutes, the students sat and listened to stories of Muslim women from Pakistan, England, Morocco, and the United States.

Students were invited to write down their reactions to the play immediately following the 45 minute performance. Then Ms. Malik invited students to read their reflections. In the post-show discussion, the playwright and actress gently encouraged students to follow their dreams. As a Pakistani woman, Ms. Malik shared that she was not exposed to much theatre until her high school teacher took her to the Goodman Theatre to see Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece, The Three Sisters. Seeing that play changed her perspective, and her life and inspired her to work in the theatre. When a student asked her about the achievement of which she was most proud, she mentioned that her play, Yasmina’s Necklace, is slated to play at the Goodman next October and November. “A dream come true,” she called the achievement while encouraging the students to follow their own dreams and to do what they are called to do, however unlikely their choice may seem.

Following are some of our students’ thoughts regarding the play, Unveiled.

Quotes from Baker students’ reflections after seeing Rohina Malik’s Unveiled.

This play was really good! It made me think about the way I think. You’re an amazing actress.

I like the way she expressed every little detail in her play.

This play was wonderful. The acting was amazing and you could feel each character’s pain and sorrow. This play covered all topics…love, depression, racism and so much more. The main characters learned how speaking up would help them, they learned that speaking up can help someone more than staying silent. I never thought a play would inspire me so much and change the way we think.

It put me into someone else’s shoes. I like how you used tea to symbolize different things.

I never knew that people were being treated this way and now I really am encouraged to speak up for myself and share my feelings.

…very meaningful….I think this will change how I look at things.

…an incredible story of hope and courage…I felt sad and hopeful and inspired to do good.

Amazing view on racism and discrimination full of content and information.

That was so amazing. I cried like four times. I will never forget it.

I felt hurt that the mother didn’t want her daughter to wear the hijab and wanted her to have lighter skin. To rub lemons on her face at 5 years old was horrible.

As well as being inspirational, it was powerful.

I was thinking harder about the play than any other play I’ve seen.

Love balances hate

Hate takes over

Love is even more powerful.

I like that you made all these stories with a connection

I like how you related this play to the real world, because sadly there is still lots of racism.

The whole play showed me if you don’t speak up then nothing will change.

That was the best storyteller ever.

I felt the pain in the sections. I got the meaning in each chapter.

I like how the play had such a good message. Yet it leaves so much for you to decide.

and finally,

I never knew art could change the way we think.