Volunteers of American of Illinois invited Chicago Veterans to join them and help provide transportation for their Hope Manor II residents. They had the opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of the highly anticipated performance of La Ruta, at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Pulled from real testimonies, La Ruta follows two mothers searching for their missing daughters. Set in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city plagued by their unsolved crime, this play with music examines a community of women attempting to live in the wake of unspeakable loss.
The performance was extremely moving for those who were in attendance. Watery eyes could be seen throughout the audience as sobbing sounds echoed across the room from those trying to hold back their tears. As one audience member said, “The play “La Ruta” sparks many emotions within. Toward the end of the play, one actor did something that is somewhat strange to those on the outside but was necessary for her. I see this to be her way of coping with the loss she finally accepted. Many veterans struggle, like the actor, with dealing with the loss of a loved one (either a military or family) and seek different ways to console ourselves; yet like the actor, we all need to find what we feel is right for us to move forward and heal.”
Immediately following the show, audience members had an opportunity to go backstage and meet the performers. The cast stayed backstage and spoke with each audience member discussing the performance and what it meant to star in such a powerful play. Audience members were able to take photos and share their thoughts on the play with the cast.
About Volunteers of America: Volunteers of America is a national nonprofit organization providing local human service programs and the opportunity for individual and community involvement. The words “there are no limits to caring” represent an enduring philosophy of service that spans three centuries. The founders’(pictured) pledge “to go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand” still guides the organization’s growth and development efforts today, more than 115 years since the organization’s birth in 1896.