Drama focuses on homelessness

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LEWISTON – A drama depicting the everyday lives of people struggling with poverty in Maine will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church on Bates Street.

The Maine Council of Churches will present “Hear Our Stories, Know Our Names,” a play based primarily upon the experiences of people who have been homeless.

Rose is 54 years old and a Portland native. The homelessness she knew in the ’60s has stayed with her, vivid memories of being forced by hunger to steal and of seeking shelter in cellars or under the South Portland bridge.

The drama features performers like Rose from Preble Street Resource Center as storytellers and actors, using the play to make people aware that homelessness extends across all economic levels. Rose became involved with “Hear Our Stories, Know Our Names” to dispel some of the stereotypes that follow people in the streets and raise awareness of the issues faced by those with no permanent address.

“Drama is a very good way to tell a story,” said Dolores Vail, coordinator of the Economic Justice Initiative of the Maine Council of Churches. With a grant from the Haymarket People’s Fund, Vail recruited nine people from Preble Street Resource Center in Portland who were interested in developing their personal stories into a performance piece. The result: a drama filled with passion, music, humor and a lasting impact that leaves audiences with a new perspective and understanding of what it is like to be homeless or live in poverty.

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