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News Release

YAYA: Teens Talk Tough On Tolerance
March 2008

Montreal, March 18, 2008 - The Segal Centre, in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, and Action Week Against Racism, is inviting the media to participate in a roundtable colloquium entitled A Better Tomorrow - Teens Talk Tough on Tolerance on Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 3:00pm. The panellists will include moral and religious leaders, and members of the YAYA - Young Actors for Young Audiences - company. At a time when Quebec is seeking ways for diverse cultural and religious communities to live harmoniously together, it may be our youth who will show us the way to combat prejudice and develop tolerance.

While our society has created institutions to defend human rights, how do we as individuals and communities support the person facing prejudice in the school or in the workplace? How do we support someone who because of color or size or dress or accent, suffers for being different? Even if we are neither the perpetrator nor victim, what is our responsibility as bystanders? What have we really learned from the horrors caused by the extremes of prejudice in the past? Who in society is responsible for helping overcome the fear of differences, for building tolerance and socio-cultural bridges? How can young people create an open, better society for the future?

These questions will be discussed at the colloquium on March 26, 2008, which arise from the YAYA intercultural youth project, No More Raisins, No More Almonds, at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts.

YAYA - Young Actors for Young Audience - teaches tolerance through theatre and so far has reached 25,000 students in Montreal and on tour to Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa and most recently in Virginia Beach. On March 24 - 26, 2008, during Action Week Against Racism, YAYA presents the reprise of its successful play No More Raisins, No More Almonds and the dynamic post-performance talkbacks with the diverse student audiences.

The power of this program is youth speaking to youth. Students from Rivière-des-Prairies to the West Island, from Lachute to Ste-Anne-des-Plains, from Chomedey to Kahnawake, will be interfacing with the 40 members of the YAYA troupe. Close to 2,000 Greek, Italian, French, English, Jewish and Native youth, students of diverse ethnicities, rural and urban students, as well as physically and emotionally challenged teenagers, will be brought face-to-face to clarify their common values.

A wide spectrum of religious leaders including Episcopal Vicars of the Catholic Church, leaders of Orthodox Christian Churches, the Baha’i movement, major Protestant denominations and ecumenical groups will be in attendance at a gala evening performance on March 25 to show their support for this youth initiative. Members of the Montreal Jewish community will join them.

No More Raisins, No More Almonds is a play about youth during the Holocaust that parallels the fate of too many young people in our world today. It is a powerful demonstration of the core of racism and prejudice, of what happens to innocent children who are mistreated, not for what they do, but for who they are. Post-performance discussions deal with the impact of bigotry and solutions.

YAYA, the youth wing of the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, is a program of the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre and the Tauben Family Foundation.

No More Raisins, No More Almonds

By Batia Bettman
Directed by Bryna Wasserman

Important dates and times:

Student Daytime Performances:
March 25, 2008 - 10AM & 1PM
March 26, 2008 - 10AM & 1PM

Evening Performance:
March 24, 2008 - 8PM

Round Table Colloquium:
A Better Tomorrow - Teens Talk Tough on Tolerance
March 26, 2008 - 3PM
With religious leaders and YAYA performers

YAYA Web Site

(514) 937-9176

(514) 842-7127