Hurricane Maria was a devastating hurricane that hit parts of Central America, parts of the US, and Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Nearly a year later, Puerto Rico is still in a state of crisis and chaos. The official death toll from this hurricane in Puerto Rico is recorded at 64, however, based upon the results of a recent survey, it may actually be closer to 5,000 casualties. Whereas most areas of Puerto Rico finally have power again, many people still do not, and there are still many issues to be addressed.
The Duluth Playhouse Teen Intensive program has decided to make an effort to help Puerto Rico in their work at rebuilding homes, communities, schools, and lives of the citizens. One of this summer’s Teen Intensive shows, West Side Story, focuses on a group of Puerto Ricans living in New York City. We feel it is necessary in order to truthfully portray this story to the fullest extent to also acknowledge the current state of living in Puerto Rico. We have decided to take donations to be given to Operation Agua to help in their effort to rebuild Puerto Rico. Operation Agua is an initiative that helps distribute clean water to the island’s remote areas. Thirty dollars can provide an in-home purifier for an impoverished family and allows up to 24 liters of water per day.
Puerto Rico is officially part of the United States, which makes the power outage from Hurricane Maria the longest power outage in US history. One of the other huge issues currently occurring is the fact that many communities still don’t have clean water. In fact, some people will buy bottled water, while others will boil water to be able to safely drink it. Another issue is rebuilding homes and communities. Many houses have temporary roofs installed by FEMA free of charge, while many other homes have leaks and other damages inflicted by the storm.
Many families and children were negatively impacted by this disaster, and young school children were impacted arguably the worst. Public schools were closed for 5 weeks at the very least after the storm, leaving children at home seeing the devastation and chaos going on in their homes and communities. Many schools that opened after these 5 weeks were operating without power, and other schools were made into community centers and shelters for people whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the storm.
Due to the state that Puerto Rico is currently in, donations for Puerto Rico was suggested Ciera Dastoor, one of the seniors in West Side Story, and the staff at the Playhouse supported her initiative. So, when you come to see our shows on the Depot stage (running August 9-19), feel free to ask for more information!
If you would like to see our adaptations Romeo & Juliet and West Side Story, the Playhouse Family Theatre will be performing both shows in repertory style August 9-12 and August 16-19. If you would like to purchase tickets, visit duluthplayhouse.org/family-theatre or call the Duluth Playhouse Box Office at (218)-733-7555.
- When: August 9-19
- Romeo & Juliet – August 9, 11, 16 & 18
- West Side Story – August 10, 12, 17 & 19
- Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm
- Where: Playhouse Family Theatre at the Depot (506 W. Michigan St., Duluth MN, 55802)
- Tickets: Online | 218.733.7555 | In-person at 211 E. Superior St.
- Price: Adults – $17 | Youth – $15