TWU theatre grad creates welcome play for Syrian refugee children

Like Many Vancouverites, Amy Dauer has felt helpless watching the plight of Syrian refugees on the news.  But the 24-year-old theatre graduate was struck with an idea recently: She could use her gifts for acting and playwriting to make Syrian children laugh—and help them understand that Canada is a safe place they can call home.

Dauer has partnered with the Syrian Canadian Council to put on Vancouver’s Welcoming Squad, an interactive theatre event for Syrian refugee children this Wednesday, December 16 at 4 p.m. at the Vancouver Welcome House. The story, penned by Dauer, will be funny and non-violent, as well as non-verbal so that children will be able to follow if they don’t speak English. Children will also be invited to participate in face-painting, music and dancing.

It’s an ambitious project for most 24-year-olds, perhaps, but Dauer says her theatre degree and the learning environment at Trinity Western University, from which she graduated in 2014, empowered her to believe that if she wanted to do something, she could.

Dauer hopes the event will be a bright spot for parents as well as children. “For a lot of parents, the greatest cause of distress can come from seeing your children living in despair and hopelessness,” she said. “If we can make the kids smile, maybe their parents will smile too.”

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