As a college student, it is easy to live in a bubble: go to class, come home from class, go to rehearsal, come back from rehearsal, go to bed, etc. It becomes a cycle, an admittedly selfish one, where the only thing that matters is getting to where you need to be and getting done what you need to do. Sometimes, though, you are lucky, and something will rattle your day, break you out of your routine, and remind you of the world you live in, the world you should partake in.

When I was cast as Harriet in Crocodile Seeking Refuge, I was ecstatic to be a part of a play that strives to do more than just entertain its audience—it educates, it explores, it tells stories that so desperately need to be told. I feel blessed to be a part of a production that not only stretches me as an actor, but also challenges me as a person. My eyes have been opened to more than just what happens in my little bubble, through the research that I have been doing on not only the UK (I’m an American student), but also on the many other countries that the play presents. My cast mates have equally been as inspiring; we are a diverse bunch, and each of us brings something dynamic to the table. My bubble has expanded, and I am so grateful to that.

This expansion, and the play in general, seem to be a matter of boundaries and a matter of responsibility. That was my first thought after reading Crocodile Seeking Refuge, and it is the thought that has carried me throughout my journey of rehearsals, and it will continue to carry me through the oncoming technical rehearsals and opening of the show. The boundaries that people place in life are interesting—some are authorized and certified, such as borders, laws, governmental policies, etc, while others are invisible, yet just as effective, such as the boundaries that are placed in relationships. Boundaries exist to protect, yes, but sometimes their rigid demands block the possibilities of connection; somehow in between, our humanity is lost. Our director, Bob, said something interesting in rehearsal tonight. He said that it is not until a boundary is crossed that we realize that it was even there. And that is why I say that it comes down to responsibility. It is easy to place the blame on another country: that genocide, while it is so terrible, is not happening on our side, so it is not our fault. But once the boundary is crossed, once that life, that humanity, that hurt, pain, and suffering is brought in and placed before our eyes do we realize that the responsibility lays just as heavily on us, the ones who placed the boundary in the first place.

And that is what makes this play so powerful. We are placing the hurt, the pain, the suffering in front of the audience’s eyes, we are crossing that boundary, and we are asking them to share the responsibility.

By Alexandra Wright, Student, University of Southern California

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