Óyeme, the Beautiful
Written by Miriam Gonzales
Directed by Elena Velasco
Tour dates: March 11 – April 5, 2019

Most appropriate for Grades 7+

Laura and Valentina are teenagers just trying to make it through another day in middle school. However, unlike many of their peers, they are refugees from Central America who have fled brutal violence in their home countries to find shelter and pursue their dreams in the United States. Step inside their shoes, hear their stories, see their struggle, and feel their strength as we move through their day. Óyeme, the Beautiful brings to light the undaunted courage and beautiful spirit that fuels these young people, and teaches us the power of friendship, family, and hope.


Performances are followed by a 30-minute audience workshop led by an Imagination Stage teaching artist. Performance and workshop running time is 75 minutes. Schools and community groups must be able to designate a 20×20 open space (or stage) for our set and performers. 


Please note: You may view the content and form below in a language of your choosing using the translation widget located at the lower right of your screen. 


Try our ¡Óyeme! Learning Guide!


March 11 – Gaithersburg High School
Private performance
March 13 – Lutheran Reformation Church
Free and open to the public; attendees must RSVP
212 East Capitol St NE, Washington, DC 20003
6:00 p.m. – Reception
7:00 p.m. – Performance
7:45 p.m. – Panel Discussion

Presented by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Imagination Stage, and Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Featuring the full production of Óyeme, the beautiful and a panel of leaders and experts on immigration moderated by Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation, this event is an exploration of the unaccompanied minor crisis for legislative, religious, and nonprofit leaders. Panelists include: Luis Cardona, Administrator for HHS Positive Youth Development, Health and Human Services; Abel Nunez, Executive Director, CARECEN DC; and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
March 15 – Northwestern High School
Private performance
March 18 – Patterson High School
Private performance
March 19 – Dance Place
Private performance
March 20 – Dance Place
Private performance
March 21 – Dance Place
Private performance
March 22 – Smithsonian American Art Museum
Free and open to the public; attendees must RSVP
8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC
4:45 p.m. – Exhibition tour
6:15 p.m. – Performance and discussion

Presented by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Imagination Stage.
This presentation explores the power of the arts to navigate identity and the refugee experience. Visit SAAM’s new exhibition Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue to consider how one contemporary artist draws on her own South Vietnamese family’s experience of the Vietnam War to amplify refugees’ voices today. Then, experience a full performance of Óyeme, the beautiful followed by remarks from playwright Miriam Gonzales and Elizabeth Dale-Deines, teacher programs coordinator at SAAM.

March 25 – CCPCS at Brightwood
Private performance
March 25 – The Catholic University of America
Free and open to the public; attendees must RSVP
Caldwell Hall – Catholic University, Washington DC
6:30 p.m.

Presented by The Catholic University of America’s Center of Cultural Engagement.
Featuring a full performance of Óyeme, the beautiful followed by panel discussion with Jennifer Podkul, Director of Policy, Kids in Need of Defense, as well as faculty and leaders from The Catholic University of America, this performance will be an exploration of the experience of refugees for religious, education, and policy leaders.

March 26 – FC Hammond
Private performance
March 27 – Wheaton High School
Private performance
March 29 – Asylee Women Enterprise
Private performance
April 1 – Poe Middle School
Private performance

¡Óyeme! in the News

BBC World News America:


¡Óyeme! is a collaborative project that responds to the surge of refugee children fleeing violence from Central America who have arrived in Montgomery County. Many of the children have experienced horrific circumstances in their country of origin, as well as in the migration here.


Our Project partners include Imagination Stage, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), Montgomery County Department of Recreation, Council member Nancy Navarro, and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Street Outreach Network (SON).


¡Óyeme! strives to provide a creative arts outlet for young people, utilizing best practice culturally-based, trauma-informed theatre and arts activities to create a sense of community among the participants, and provide a safe space for immigrant youth to share their stories. Our hope is that as a result of our efforts not only will the children feel welcomed, but they can begin the healing process that will allow them to assimilate into their new community. There is no better way to connect to another human being than through the arts.


Our Education Team is currently working on Óyeme workshops with youth in partnership with Street Outreach Network (Montgomery County Health and Human Services), Kids in Need of Defense, and Watkins Mill High School ESOL classes. Students in these programs utilize the arts to share their own stories through poetry, performances and writing. Based on the experiences of the young people in the Óyeme workshops, Imagination Stage commissioned the play Óyeme, the Beautiful to build empathy and understanding in the community.


Jeff Sachs

Education Associate
[email protected]



Chelsey Christensen
Director of Development
[email protected]

Thank You to Our Lead Supporters

Inter-American Development Bank
Truman Charities
Doris Duke Foundation

Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Montgomery County Department of Recreation