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Lost and Found illuminates POC student voices through artistic expression

Eva Janairo
Seniors Surya Gopal, Myles Lee, and junior Orlando Christian prepare for their performance, Thursday, Jan. 18.

Lost and Found, a production directed by seniors Surya Gopal, Zaina Sayeed, and Sharon Tackie, provided a platform for students of color to express their experiences of identity through an artistic lens. The opening night performance occurred Thursday, Jan. 18. Although subsequent performance dates remain uncertain due to the ongoing Newton Teachers Association (NTA) Strike. 

The production showcases an array of original pieces, including monologues, songs, dances, and scenes written and performed by people of color. True to the title, “Lost and Found” aimed to illustrate stories that are often pushed aside or lost. 

“What is special about Lost and Found is the community it creates every year, where people who normally don’t see so much of the stage get to have their stories heard,” said Sayeed. “It is truly a unique show that highlights voices that need to be heard in a predominantly white community.”

At the start of the production, sophomores Mariana Chango Gassett and Malia Thompson-Leong introduced poetry with an original poem “What Are You,”. Which emphasizes the harm of other people’s assumptions and stereotypes, and how society automatically wants to create labels so that others can fit a certain, flawed image. 

“In your eyes, my identity has to be boiled down to the stereotypes you hold like a shield to protect yourself from reality,” Leong said during the performance. 

Later in Act One, “Cracker Stacker,” written and performed by Sayeed and seniors Haitham Asmal and Ryan Yoo, blended lighthearted comedy with serious dialogue, highlighting the importance of representation for people with diverse backgrounds. 

“We each have our own experiences, identity, and story that should be celebrated, not dissolved into the ‘melting pot’ that many people think America is,” said Asmal. 

Closing out act one Lost and Found even included a “fashion show” that displayed the work of Senior Cece Gonzalez. Models strutted decked out in colorfully patterned skirts, shorts, and graphic t-shirts. The audience cheered as each model showed off their designs and struck a pose.

The show finally showcased “Bollywood Bash,” an upbeat and unifying dance choreographed by Sayeed and performed by several cast members. 

Putting together Lost and Found was a memorable and rewarding process for everyone involved, according to junior Jonathan Santos. “Being able to see each piece come to life was amazing, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it,” said Santos. 

Lost and Found provided the audience with a rich and authentic understanding of issues related to race, identity, and culture through its engaging and thought-provoking performance. 

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