On Feb. 28, Eastern University will be hosting a one-woman performance called “Uninvited Girl.” While a one-woman play seems unusual, this play first premiered in 2016 and has been performed for two years now. It was first performed shortly after the presidential election at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Philadelphia. It was part of the First Person Arts Festival. The First Person Arts Festival has been held in Philadelphia for 18 years now.
They celebrate storytelling and the power of individual people. Their website states , “We are First Person Arts, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization that celebrates the power of the personal. Our storytelling, social impact, and festival programs reinforce our mission: everyone has a story to tell, and sharing these stories connects us with each other and the world.” Nimisha Ladva performed for this festival to a sold-out audience and shares her personal experiences through her acting.
This play is bound to be emotional and empowering. Ladva delves into scenes from her life, the humorous, scary, unjust and life-changing. The description given by the Philadelphia Commons Institute states, “This solo-performance play written and performed by Nimisha Ladva, directed by Edward Sobel, tells Ladva’s personal story — ‘growing up in England as the only non-white child in my local public school, my family’s move to the United States, the cultural clashes that ensued (including my choice to marry outside my ethnic community), our period of living as undocumented immigrants, and finally, the legal court case that allowed my family and me to become legal residents and which put us on the path to US citizenship.’”
This play has been going strong for two years now, and for good reasons. This is a true story for both Ladva and for many immigrants in the world. It is a terrifying thought for someone to be taken out of the culture they know and love and to be placed in another, without any sort of guidance or warning. Everything from language to dress to etiquette, can be different, and getting used to these things might take a long time. Ladva shines a light on the difference between cultures and the ignorance that others have to people of a different background.
I personally cannot imagine how scared and how humiliated she might have felt at times. I hope that I and many others take something out of this upcoming play and become more open and helpful to those who are of different backgrounds, as the United States is seeing more and more immigrants from other countries.
The performance will be held in McInnis Auditorium on Feb. 28 from 7pm-10pm. It is free for both students and community members. After the performance there will be a discussion with the play’s creators. It is wonderful that Eastern University is able to host so many empowering guests, with the help from the Campolo Institute for Applied Research, Students Advocating for Gender Eqaulity (SAGE), and Eastern’s Political Science Department. I encourage everyone who is able to attend this event, whether it be because Ladva’s story is relatable, or whether it is eye-opening to the difficult lives that many live.