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Óyeme, the Beautiful
Written by Miriam Gonzales
Directed by Elena Velasco
Tour dates: April 9, 2018-May 11, 2018

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. 


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¡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 working with youth in partnership with Street Outreach Network (Montgomery County Health and Human Services) and Gaithersburg High School ESL classes. Based on the experiences of the young people in the Óyeme workshops, Imagination Stage commissioned a play to build empathy and understanding in the community.


Emily Veno

Education Associate



Jan McNamara
Development Manager for Institutional Giving

Thank You to Our Lead Supporters

Doris Duke Foundation
Hattie M. Strong Foundation
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Montgomery County Department of Recreation
Theatre Communications Group

Imagination Stage is a participant in the Audience (R)Evolution: Travel Grant program, funded by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre. This work was supported by an Exploration grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to Imagination Stage for the Building Demand for the Performing Arts Program.


Imagination Stage