Presented by Gandhi Alliance for Peace, Granite School District, Plan-B Theatre and United Nations Association of Utah, THE POST OFFICE is adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s classic play by Utah playwright Melissa Leilani Larson.
THE POST OFFICE is the story of Ash, a child suffering from a mysterious illness. Despite being confined at home by the doctor, she remains hopeful, winning over strangers with her positive attitude and imagining a better life for herself.
THE POST OFFICE will play five performances, August 24-26, 2019, in the Leona Wagner Black Box Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, performed by high school students from Granite School District and directed by Adam Wilkins, the drama teacher at Cottonwood High School.
The goal of THE POST OFFICE project is to engage a community of immigrant, refugee and citizen students to create a piece of theatre together as a companion piece to the United Nations Civil Society Conference.
In addition to the acting roles, there will be student dramaturgy (Mason Turton) and stage management (Zoey Fossen & Roey Howell), as well as shadow opportunities with the director and each member of the design team: Madeline Ashton (set), Cheryl Cluff (sound), Pilar I (lighting) Maddiey Howell-Wilkins (costumes).
100% of proceeds benefit Adopt-A-Future, a program of the United Nations Association, providing direct support for refugee education at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Click here for tickets, more information and/or to make a donation to Kakuma.
From Plan-B Theatre
We develop and produce unique and socially conscious theatre created by Utah playwrights. The Dramatists Guild of America has recognized us as the only professional theatre company in the United States producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights. THE POST OFFICE is presented as part of In the Classroom, which is our newest educational program. Launched in January of 2018, In the Classroom has served more than 1,000 students K-12 students in Salt Lake City. The foundation of the program is diversity and inclusion, for we believe live theatre enriches and enlivens education and is essential to the development of well-rounded, civically-engaged individuals.
From Gandhi Alliance for Peace
We first learned about Tagore’s play THE POST OFFICE when one of our members read “The King of Children” by Jean Lifton, the story of Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician. During the Nazi control of Warsaw, Korczak’s orphanage was forced to move into the Warsaw ghetto. To help the children accept death, the orphanage produced THE POST OFFICE. When the time came, Korczak boarded the box car for the death camps with the children.
The international community failed to save the children and adults of the Warsaw ghetto. Far too often we continue to fail to protect the children of the world. This new adaptation of THE POST OFFICE gives us here in Utah the opportunity to help more children living in refugee camps receive an education—a fundamental right of childhood.
Art has the power to help us cope with the unacceptable. Art also has the power to inspire us to reach beyond expectations and, sometimes, even to change the world.
From United Nations Association of Utah
Happiness, good health and financial stability are the pursuit of people worldwide. The surest path to achieving this is knowledge. Knowledge is acquired by education or experience. Basic skills and knowledge are learned in part at home or in a community. But formal education plays an important part in securing a
satisfying future. Millions of people now living in refugee camps, away from their home of origin and the family and society of their forebears, seek educational opportunities.
The Adopt-A-Future program is providing direct support in the form of schools, teachers and teaching materials to the young people living in Kakuma. Donations (including all ticket sales to THE POST OFFICE) will be matched 1:1 by a local organization and that will be matched 1:1 again by an international organization, making every $25 donation worth $100.
From Granite School District
We are proud to host one of the largest refugee centers for students in the state. The Language Academy, based in Cottonwood High School, is designed to serve refugees and immigrants from around the world. The Language Academy provides access to a first-class education with highly qualified teachers and staff. Through this enriching and supportive environment, we strive to increase the English language skills and academic achievement of newcomer students to support successful integration into mainstream society. Working with professionals, we hope that THE POST OFFICE project will inspire this incredibly talented and unique population to contribute to the larger community.
From playwright Melissa Leilani Larson
I was excited to adapt Rabindranath Tagore’s THE POST OFFICE for several reasons. The original is beautifully simple—it’s a parable, filled with symbolism, about the power of a child’s desire to grow beyond plotted expectations. Part of the beauty of Tagore’s play is that it takes the viewer to a very specific place and time, and it has been a fun challenge to open it up a little for a broader, contemporary audience. There is so much about the central character Amal to admire: his curiosity, his compassion, his guilelessness. As the child of an immigrant, I have a personal stake in the way that our community accepts and interacts with immigrants and refugees. For me, the message of THE POST OFFICE is one of friendship and acceptance, delivered through the medium of theatre, one of the most communal forms of art we have.
Melissa Leilani Larson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter of Filipino descent whose work has been seen on four continents. Her plays PILOT PROGRAM and THE EDIBLE COMPLEX premiered at Plan-B Theatre, where her play MOUNTAIN LAW received a Script-In-Hand Series reading last season. This year alone, her plays SWEETHEART COME premiered at PYGmalion Theatre Company, “Cherry Pie” premiered as part of Wasatch Theatre Company’s Page-To-Stage Festival and BITTER LEMON premiered at Creekside Theatre Festival. Her commission to adapt Kelly Barnhill’s THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON for Utah Valley University will premiere in fall 2019. Other plays: MARTYRS’ CROSSING, PERSUASION, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and LITTLE HAPPY SECRETS. Film: JANE AND EMMA and FREETOWN. Mel is the 2018 Smith-Pettit Foundation award recipient, a three-time winner of the Association for Mormon Letters Drama award and a 2016 O’Neill semifinalist. She presently serves as the Dramatists Guild rep for Utah. MFA, Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
From director Adam Wilkins
As the theatre teacher at Cottonwood High School, my primary goal is to educate, inspire and entertain. When given the opportunity to direct THE POST OFFICE for the community, I realized that through working collaboratively with business, non-profits and the Granite School District, I—and, more importantly, the students from across Granite School District that will work on the production—will use theatre as a tool for social awareness and change.