Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pro-Life Tour to Wisconsin

Editor's note: This past month two of our actresses, Maria Romine and Erica Sharpe, performed eleven shows in nine days throughout the state of Wisconsin. The show was "Sarah's Secret", a gripping pro-life drama. We asked Maria to tell us about the tour and the show's impact on the young audiences who saw it.

My experience touring with “Sarah’s Secret” this past October in Wisconsin changed my life.

Saturday, October 4, the first day of our tour, we performed “Sarah’s Secret” three times at the Power of Life Conference in Appleton and we discovered the incredible impact that this show has on people. After each performance, several mothers would come up to Erica (my acting partner) and me – sometimes with tears in their eyes - telling us how glad they were that we were taking the show to local high schools while on tour. “This is just the sort of thing our kids need to see,” they would tell us. With each show we did at the conference, the audience at least doubled until our last show had people sitting on the floor – the power of word-of-mouth!

We travelled to Roncalli High School in Manitowoc on Monday. Ben, the Campus Spiritual counselor, was blown away by the first performance of Sarah’s Secret. “You have the kids talking about how abortion affects people!” he exclaimed. Many members of the school’s Pro-Life club attended the next show and were so fired up after seeing it that they said it made them want to do more to champion their cause.

Tuesday, we performed at Lourdes High School in Oshkosh. They have a very enthusiastic counselor there by the name of Kathie , who was beside herself after the first show. The school’s troublemakers were in attendance and she had been prepared to take action if needed, but the students were riveted to their seats during the entire performance. Kathie just glowed with praise about “Sarah’s Secret”.

Wednesday, we visited St. Mary Central High School in Neenah where I pray that the counselors spent time with the students after the show. We were on such a tight schedule that we not able to witness and explain the show after it ended. The show ends very dramatically and we often hear weeping in the audience. By following up with witnessing and explaining options for people who are considering abortion or who have been involved in it, we as actresses are able to steer them in the right direction.

Erica Sharpe (left) and Maria Romine in a scene from "Sarah's Secret"

At St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in Marinette, we encountered a small but mighty school of students. They loved the show. Many of the Junior class helped us strike our equipment and reload our van, which was wonderful after all the driving and performing we had done. One of the students was helping us pack the costumes. “We have ten kids in our family and all of us are adopted,” she said with pride. “You have an awesome Mom and Dad,” I commented. “Yeah, I do,” she said with a smile. “I love them.” What a beautiful pro-life statement that this family has made! I thank God that the birth-mothers of these children chose to give them life – and that the adoptive parents chose to give them a family.

Thursday, we visited Norte Dame Academy in Green Bay . Sister Laura had come to the conference to see the show, so that she could be prepared for the theology students that were scheduled to see it. After each show, Sister Laura would ask questions of the students and the theater would buzz with their answers. She actually had made some observations about the show that I had not even realized. I have filed these away in my head, so that I am aware of which parts of the show do have an effect and why.

There are a couple people that I have failed to mention up until now, but should have been mentioned throughout this journal.

One is our contact from the Power of Life, Sharon. Sharon could have just done her job at the conference and then left us to tour the schools. Instead, she put us under her wing and made sure that the schools we visited were ready for us. She introduced us at many of the schools we performed at, she said the rosary all the while we were performing, she had people praying for us throughout the entire tour, and she shared with us her story of faith. Sharon was definitely our guardian angel for this tour making sure that we had safe passage.

Another guardian angel was Melissa, who took us to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Robinson and who showed us how to make knotted string rosaries and who showed us a great time.

The other person I’d like to thank is Karen O’Brien, who was our den mother, our counselor, and for the entire tour- our driver. Karen made sure we took time to rest (even though some of us protested) and she made sure we were on time to the shows no matter where the shows were. I am so thankful we had Karen on this tour and I am certain that we would not have been as successful without her help. In fact, Karen summed up the trip rather well when we were heading home, “ I feel like I am leaving part of my family.” I hope we someday revisit our family in Christ in Wisconsin, but I look forward to meeting the brothers and sisters that I have not even met elsewhere in the country, for our next tours of “Sarah’s Secret”.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Robinson, Wisconsin

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