OMA hosts “American Sueño” in honor of Hispanic and GLBT History Months

Rebecca Carvalho

American Sueño, a bilingual play performed at Harper Hall and presented by Teatro Milagro, marked the beginning of the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ observance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.
The OMA brought Teatro Milagro, an international theater company touring the United States, to Lawrence to perform the play Thursday, Oct. 14.
The OMA is known for its programming and frequent events focused on strengthening identity and social respect, and “American Sueño” was no exception. Traditionally, Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated in September and GLBT History month is celebrated in October. The play addressed issues pertinent to members of both communities.
Ormsby Residence Hall Director and Diversity Center Programs Coordinator Rose Wasielewski said, “Because September is Hispanic Heritage month, we were looking for a few events to celebrate that. American Sueño was not only an interesting bilingual play, but it focuses on many issues that Hispanic and Latino people face in America.”
The play presented the lives of four GLBTQ individuals trying to live the “American Dream,” striving for social acceptance and trying to understand their own identities.
“American Sueño” was permeated by fast-paced dialogues in English and Spanish, original songs, Latino influence and open discussions about sexual orientations. Teatro Milagro’s productions take inspiration from global issues, but with “American Sueño,” the company based the characters on interviews with real-life individuals.
“Their main message was to raise awareness about GLBT issues in the Hispanic and Latino community, as well as a general message of acceptance of who you are and working towards understanding others as well,” said Wasielewski.
Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs, encourages more students and the Appleton community to come to OMA events because they create a broader awareness about different issues and help people share similarities
“We try to program around topics that are real,” said Pa Lee, reinforcing that programs focusing on diversity involve everyone and allow people to relate with each other.
The next OMA event will be part of their Identity Forum Series and will be titled “Sex & Religion.” The forum will be held Monday, Nov. 15 in the Wriston Auditorium.