In Chicago alone, over 16,000 women and girls are involved in prostitution-related activities on any given day.
That’s 16,000 women who are sexually objectified today, 16,000 women whose voices have been silenced today, 16,000 women who are in desperate need of our support, today – and all in our community.
Sex trafficking is often times literally forgotten in the shadows because of its hidden nature. These crimes are not solely occurring in far away countries, but right here in Chicago. As a campus, we need to shed light on this topic and help those suffering modern-day slavery.
This weekend, Northwestern will do just that. Forgotten in the Shadows will be performed on campus this weekend. Relayed through the victims’ lens, the play written by Mary Bonnett is a bold and challenging confrontation of sex trafficking in Chicago. The show is rooted in reality and based on interviews conducted with people involved in sex trafficking in the Chicagoland area. This play will hopefully expose many students to the issue – which is, unfortunately, persisting and in need of our attention.
A preview of the play: Each actor in Forgotten in the Shadows delves deep into his or her character’s private trials and tough decisions. They portray people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and walks of life who share one cold, common reality: their involvement in human trafficking. This play explores the heart-breaking issues of Internet predators, sexual violence, and drug and alcohol abuse. These cruelties must not be overlooked when examining sex trafficking.
The cast has rehearsed with director Hayley Himmelman, perfecting how they express intense feelings creatively, through choreography and powerful dialogue. This show is an example of Northwestern’s passionate efforts to educate others – both on stage and behind the scenes, through team efforts led by producer Jenna Levin.
Forgotten in the Shadows stands out not only for its moving performance, but also its mission to provoke conversation. Talkbacks will be held after each show. These are unique opportunities to have an open dialogue with a wide variety of prominent people, each active in the fight against sex-trafficking.
Speakers include Mary Bonnett, writer of the show and artistic director of Her Story Theater, Al Krok, Chicago Police Department Undercover Detective, Frank, the Founder and Executive Director of PROMISE and Anne’s House for Sex Trafficked Girls, Brenda Meyers Powell, sex trafficking victim, former prostitute and founder of the Dreamcatcher Foundation, as well as many other inspirational individuals.
When these voices come together, each participant and audience member will be able to gain a deeper perspective and learn about challenging issues in our own backyard.
As college students, we are privileged to have impassioned theater for social change on our campus. Forgotten in the Shadows must not be forgotten – so mark your calendars.
This performance is being held, for free, at the Struble Theater in the Theatre Interpretation Center Building on March 5th at 8:00 p.m. (open dress rehearsal the night before Dance Marathon), March 6th at 8:00 p.m., and March 7th at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Jordana Graifman, Director of Marketing and Outreach for this production of Forgotten in the Shadows