Touring drama ‘Vang’ to stop at Mount Mercy University Oct. 29

VANG — A Migrant Play

“VANG,” a two-person play telling the story of four immigrant farm families settling in Iowa, will stop at Mount Mercy University on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in McAuley Theatre.

A collaboration between Poet Laureate of Iowa Mary Swander, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Dennis Chamberlin, and Kennedy Center award-winner Matt Foss, “VANG” captures multiple eye-opening journeys and exposes the struggles of Hmong, Mexican, Sudanese and Dutch immigrants.

“Since Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy, the mission has focused on serving the poor and those in need,” said Mission & Ministry Administrative Assistant Jean Bjorseth, who organized the show’s appearance. “Today’s Sisters of Mercy continue the mission of Catherine as well as identifying five Critical Concerns that currently affect our world. One of these Critical Concerns is immigration. ‘VANG’ tells the stories of immigrant families who settle in Iowa as farmers. These families speak of their struggles, survival skills and intense desire to work the land.”

Swander and Chamberlin spent three years conducting research and documenting the stories of recent Iowa immigrant farmers. Swander then wound their words together to form a verbatim play complemented by Chamberlin’s photos on a large screen. Foss directed the original play.

Presented by Campus Ministry, “VANG” is a part of Mount Mercy’s 2016 Fall Faculty Series, Building Walls, Building Bridges: The U.S. as an Immigrant Nation. The three-month series showcases multiple presentations, performances and stories that explore what immigration has meant to our history, as well as what immigration means to us now.

This show is open to the public and free of charge.

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