The film Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives follows the life of Marlin, an 18-year-old Honduras immigrant. Marlin’s story is one of pain and suffering at the hands of people who were supposed to protect her. Marlin endured rape as a young girl by two men when in the bathroom of her Grandmother’s church in Honduras. She also survived a harrowing immigration experience to the United States, suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her brother and substance abuse especially heroine. She was enrolled in a psychiatric hospital before confiding her secrets to a therapist who managed to register her at Albany Park Theater Project, where the play was originally scripted.
During the making of the film, some members admitted that they haven’t told people about their engagement in the project as they believe that they are not popular, attractive, or talented to act in a play. They have been accustomed to having low self-esteem, and not being in the limelight and a play would make them feel good about themselves. Most members participating in the film are loners who don’t have many field engagements as they deem themselves not talented enough to pursue their interests. They prefer to hang around the theatre to catch some of the action taking place and also because they receive a cordial without any prejudice. They yearn to have a family that does not look down upon them, and the theatre provides this homely feeling. This is their free time, and they chose to spend it with their theatre family as they feel safe.
The process involves sharing a story to the members of the theatre and, thereafter make a play out of the experiences in the stories. The process is dedicated to having the young members open up about their life experiences as part of their healing. The actors may have gone through a traumatic experience that is affecting their lives socially as they keep it to themselves to the point of hurting themselves like the case of Marlin who abuse drugs. The development of a play starts with the actors telling a story about their experiences. Each member of the theatre has a life story to tell that can be made into a play. The members of the group share their stories and decide on which story to make a play from. The members chose marlin’s story as it shows both aspects of hardship and hopes to people who come to watch the play. The play was developed when Marlin shared the experiences of her life with the other members of the theatre and the directors.
The director encouraged the members to share their stories as it was a sacred responsibility. The members were to listen to the story visualizing it in their minds with the aim of making a play out of it. The director challenged the members of the theater to visualize the stories artists share about their past prior to their stardom and make plays about them as they would have an impact on people who look up to them. Marlin was motivated by the speech and decided to share her story dating from her native home to her new home in Chicago. The members decided to actualize the experiences to a play after hearing about her past and thereafter, made the award-winning play.
The rehearsal process was challenging for the members, as the play was an emotional rollercoaster. The experiences involved sexual abuse and chilling nights in the mental psychiatric hospital; hence the members had to get prepared psychologically for their part of the play. This can be articulated by the actor playing the role of Carlos, the brother to Marlin, who abused her severally. The rehearsal process must have been emotionally draining to act as a sexual offender (Holdsworth, Jane, and Helen 201). The role of Marlin was the most difficult in the play as the actress had to relieve the moments based on the story told. She had shunned tears, rolling her eyes as the experiences were sad and depressing.
The making of the play was influential to both the members of the theater and the public at large as it exposed the dangers in the society, such as sexual abuse. The play changed the perspective of how people view those in need as they may have underlying experiences that are affecting them and making them behave in a queer manner. The members learned to trust each other just as Marlin had trusted them with her story and that they were not to judge her by her past experiences.
Holdsworth, Nadine, Jane Milling, and Helen Nicholson. “Making Amateur Theatre.” The Ecologies of Amateur Theatre. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2018. 191-235.