Produced by Jesuit High School students, theatrical drama sheds light on refugee issues

(Washington, D.C.) January 31, 2012 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA invites groups at high schools, colleges, universities and parishes to hold full theatrical productions or dramatic readings of the play Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home. The documentary theater piece was written and produced by the students of Jesuit High School of Sacramento for JRS/USA and is now available for production by other interested groups.

Scene from the playThe performances are designed to raise awareness of the refugee experience and refugee issues, as well as to invite communities to take action to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees around the world.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA offers two versions of the script: one designed for a full theatrical production of the play Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope, & Home; and a second adapted for dramatic readings and small group events. Included with scripts are discussion questions designed to guide group dialogue and reflection after the performance/dramatic reading.

JRS/USA hopes the play will allow audiences to “stand in the shoes” of forcibly displaced people and refugees to gain a deeper understanding of the refugee experience.

Last year Jesuit Refugee Service/USA commissioned Jesuit High School Sacramento students to use true accounts compiled by JRS/USA during years of assisting and supporting uprooted people to write and produce a play.

During the production, “We realized that the idea of ‘us and them’ doesn’t exist…that it’s all ‘us,'” said Ed Trafton, director of the JHS Sacramento Drama Department. “Nothing on a stage can ever come close to the reality of the refugee experience — but we can and should bear simple witness in telling their stories.”

“They have taken this project and created a piece that is very moving, we are tremendously grateful to the students and faculty for their extraordinary work,” said Shaina Aber, Associate Advocacy Director for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.

“We hope the production of Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home on campuses around the country will inspire lifelong advocates for refugees and the world’s displaced, and supporters and advocates for the work of JRS/USA,” said Aber.

Information about how to stage the play can be found on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website:

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