Earlier this year four organizations worked together to create a fundraiser to raise money for Kenya Refugees. Granite School District, The Gandhi Alliance for Peace, United Nations and Plan-B Theater collaborated together for the one common goal.
The United Nations approached local play writer Julie Jensen and asked her to do a play as a fundraiser. She found a play called The Post Office.
Jensen asked Adam Wilkins, a Cottonwood High theater and debate teacher, to direct and take on this project.
The play itself takes place in France during the fall to the Nazis in World War II. It was also read in Saigon just before the fall of Vietnam.
The United Nations wanted to do something different and had the idea to raise money for Kenya Refugees through a play, but they needed help. The United Nations Conference was held in Salt Lake City and that is how the idea came about.
The play is about a child being confined at home because the child is suffering from a mysterious illness. However, the child remains with a positive attitude and imagines a better life for herself.
The play would be performed downtown at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Wilkins thought of the idea to invite other Granite School District students to participate.
Wilkins didn’t just want it to be Cottonwood High school. “Because in that case it might as well just be here at Cottonwood,” Wilkins said.
Students from Cottonwood, Granger, Kearns, Olympus and Taylorsville all participated.
“All the pieces really fell together. Julie recalled a great playwright of hers named Melissa Leilani Larson,” said Wilkins. “People just started showing up. For a good cause It’s amazing who comes. As good theater is, it is a community and the play itself is about community. It was awesome.”
“It’s one of those rare times where the students really feel like what they’re producing means something, they raised $32 thousand for refugees” said Wilkins.
For the students the response was life-changing. The United Nations was able to show pictures and videos of tangible results. They were able to see immediate giving and that all the students involved in the production, that their contributions make a difference.
“Great art is a reflection of society, but great art also helps change society for the better,” said Wilkins. “Art is that one thing we can all connect to. It spans across nations even generations. Other community members got to see the great work that our district does.”
It was a great moment for the Preforming Arts Department. They had dignitaries from the governor’s office, local senators, congress people. “That itself was so rewarding to see that recognizes,” said Wilkins.
Plays always seemed to be produced at the same time and for this particular production the schools worked together. “The students worked with each other in a non-completive setting for a greater good,” said Wilkins. Together they could do more and make $32 thousand for kids who desperately need it.