While you are stuck inside with your 8th graders today, take a moment to ask them about the play Sigh/Omelas they saw yesterday.
Sigh/Omelas was written, produced, and performed over 800 times by Stephen Kidd. Throughout the play, Mr. Kidd becomes different characters, flowing effortlessly from one to another. It is based upon his experiences working in a summer camp with children who have HIV/AIDS. Sigh/Omelas tells actual stories of children living with AIDS and their struggle to live with this debilitating disease in a biased and uninformed society. Excerpts are integrated throughout the production from Ursula Le Guin’s short story about a flawed utopia entitled “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. Prior to the performance, the children read and discussed the short story and did related projects in the classroom. Ask them what they thought about the story and how it related to the characters in the play, and what they took away from the program.
This the 9th year in a row that Steve Kidd has performed Sigh/Omelas at Oak Hill. The performance was presented by the Oak Hill Creative Arts and Sciences Committee which is funded by your contributions to the PTO.
And a huge thank you to all the families who made donations to Camp AmeriKids (the inspiration for Sigh/Omelas where Mr. Kidd has been a counselor/Program Director since 1998). Mr. Kidd was incredibly moved by the community’s generosity and the impact that it will have on the campers this year.
After one of his past performances in Newton, a few students expressed interest in volunteering their time locally to help underprivileged individuals and families in their community. In an effort to support any interest that may be generated by “Sigh/Omelas” this year, he wanted to offer a list of a few volunteer organizations and opportunities.
Local and National Volunteer Organizations
- AmeriCares (parent company for Camp AmeriKids – inspiration for Sigh/Omelas) – (1 800 486 4357 www.amerikids.org) A non-profit camp for inner city children affected by or afflicted with HIV/AIDS. AmeriCares has several other domestic programs but is better known for their international relief efforts.
- Boston Online; Non-Profit Groups – (www.boston-online.com/volunteer) A lengthy list of area organizations that need volunteers — everything from AIDS outreach groups and literacy advocates to volunteer- run movie theaters and homeless shelters.
- City Year – 285 Columbus Ave. (617 917 2600). Founded in Boston in 1988, this civic-minded group now has red-coated corps all over the country. In addition to the annual City Year Serve-A-Thon—a city-wide, community-oriented day of public service—City Year has a “youth service corps” of several 17-24 year-olds who spend a year living together in a city, engaging in rigorous community service and community building activities. Contact them if you are interested in joining a City Year corps or working in their corporate offices in Boston.
- Oxfam America, Inc. – 26 West Street (617 482 1211 www.oxfamamerica.org). Headquartered in Boston, Oxfam America is the US arm of Oxfam International, an organization dedicated to educating people about world hunger and poverty and encouraging them to get involved in issues of international development.
- United Way of Massachusetts Bay – 245 Summer St. #401 (617 624 8000;www.uwmb.org). The United Way is the major volunteer organization in the US. They match non-profit groups with interested volunteers. Volunteer Solutions (www.volunteersolutions.org/boston) is their affiliate website, with a comprehensive listing of individual volunteer job openings in the Greater Boston area.