Hope College Theatre in partnership with the college’s Latino Student Organization will explore immigration issues, particularly as they affect young people, through a staged reading of the play “Just Like Us” by Karen Zacarias on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Schaap Auditorium of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

“The playwright is reaching out to organizations to offer free rights to ‘Just Like Us’ due to the current situation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program,” said Michelle Bombe, who is a professor of theatre and director of theatre at Hope.

“When I heard about this play, I knew that it would be important to bring to Hope College,” she said.  “I believe in the power of stories to help us understand the bigger issues facing our country and this play tells the powerful stories of four young women who are dealing with the immigration issues facing many in our country.”

The 2013 play is based on Helen Thorpe’s book of the same title.  As described on Zacarias’ website, “this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls in Denver — two of whom are documented and two who are not — through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities, or lack thereof. When a political firestorm arises, each girl’s future becomes increasingly complicated. ‘Just Like Us’ poses difficult, yet essential questions about what makes us American.”

Participants in the reading at Hope will include a mix of students, faculty and staff:  sophomore Jose Angulo of San Francisco, California; Michelle Bombe; sophomore Jocelyn Gallegos of Berwyn, Illinois; sophomore Sarah Herrera of Chicago, Illinois; junior Alondra Monrroy of Alamo, Texas; junior Anisha Zepeda Moreno of Watsonville, California; Richard Perez, assistant professor of theatre; junior Paige Trujillo of Holland; and Margo Walters, officer manager for the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Campus sponsors of the event include the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Latino Student Organization, GROW program and Department of Theatre.

The Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center is located at 115 E. 12th St., at the center of the Hope campus between College and Columbia avenues along the former 12th Street.