Through Sept. 5: Students share life experiences on stage

By Steve Nakata, Student Affairs & Enrollment

Las-MemoriasPULLMAN, Wash. – Two dozen high school students from throughout central Washington will inspire others with their significant life experiences in “Las Memorias 2014,” a collaborative effort of Washington State University’s Office of Student Affairs and WSU Performing Arts.

Performances are free to the public. Three are planned at WSU and three in Othello, Wenatchee and Yakima:

• Aug. 19-21, WSU, Jones Theater in Daggy Hall, 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 4, Othello, McFarland Middle School, 7:30 p.m.
• Sept. 5, Wenatchee High School Music Auditorium, 11 a.m.
• Sept. 5, Yakima Valley Community College Kendall Hall Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Las-MemoriasIn creating this project, John Fraire, WSU vice president of student affairs, and AnaMaria Correa, director of education at Ballet Hispanico – the nation’s leading Latino dance organization – wanted students to experience performance and the way it can improve lives.

“The students bring an incredible amount of enthusiasm and creativity to the process,” Fraire said. “With the formal training we provide and a lot of rehearsing, they blossom into confident orators who deeply inspire their audiences with their stories.”

Preparation for the shows began months ago when Fraire, who has a background in theater, and WSU outreach specialists met with high school students. Those who expressed interest were asked to submit writing samples describing their personal backgrounds and aspirations.

Once students were selected, Fraire and Correa worked with them to determine which of their life experiences they wished to explore through theater.

“It is inspiring to see two dozen young men and women come together to create an original and significant performance piece,” said Gail Siegel, director of WSU Performing Arts. “The enthusiasm of the youth and their mentors is palpable. You can literally feel the commitment of every single person in the room.”


John Fraire, vice president, WSU Student Affairs and Enrollment, 509-335-5900,
Steve Nakata, manager of communications, WSU Student Affairs and Enrollment, 509-335-1774,