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Now I Am Your Neighbor

The real-life stories of Lane County immigrants have been woven into a new play, Now I Am Your Neighbor, which receives a staged reading this weekend at Very Little Theatre’s Stage Left. Written by local playwright Nancy Hopps and directed by Carol Dennis, the play — inspired by an original piece, “We Are Your Neighbors,” that premiered 20 years ago — features the narratives of people who have emigrated to the Northwest from around the world, including Chile, Vietnam, Syria, Mexico and Palestine. “In my 40-plus years in theater,” Dennis says, “this is the first time I have directed a production with a cast predominantly comprised of minority and underrepresented people … Through this unique theater experience, I am also hopeful that our audience will be moved to re-envision what it means to be neighbors in a community and country that is becoming increasingly more diverse.” Now I Am Your Neighbor is being produced by Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) in partnership with Minority Voices Theatre, with proceeds going toward immigrant support services as well as the Islamic Cultural Center. The one-hour play will be followed by a community discussion, and accompanied by a photo exhibit of Lane County immigrants.

Now I Am Your Neighbor, a staged reading, plays 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, and 2 pm Sunday, Sept. 24, at Very Little Theatre’s Stage Left. $5-$25 suggested donation at door (no one turned away for lack of funds); for further info, visit calclane.org or call 541-485-1755. — Rick Levin