Making it BETTER at Sir John A.

What’s it like to be a newcomer to the city? That’s just one of the questions a local play answered on Tuesday night.
Better was performed at Theatre Aquarius as part of a collaboration between Spec Kids and Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services.
The play focused on the experiences of some of the youth of Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School.
Included in this was the question of how a community might be welcoming and supportive of refugees to the city.
The script, development and performance of the play fell to students at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School. More than 50 students performed the play for elementary classes across the school system before culminating with the performance at Theatre Aquarius.
“It was awesome,” says Mary Hockey, a teacher at the school. “The kids were great, they were super excited, and there was such a sense of community. We were all very proud of them.”

Here’s a peek at the performance. – Barry Gray

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. The ensemble close their performance. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. The ensemble close their performance. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Josh Bravo performs a powerful scene. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Josh Bravo performs a powerful scene. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Abdifatah Mahdi-Mohamed, left, and Brandon Sabourin. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Abdifatah Mahdi-Mohamed, left, and Brandon Sabourin. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Johnny Thirakul explains his difficult childhood. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Johnny Thirakul explains his difficult childhood. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Fowziya Cabdi Xuseen and Maryam Niaz Muhammad in a scene. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Fowziya Cabdi Xuseen and Maryam Niaz Muhammad in a scene. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Michael McCulloch, left, and Violet Gould. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Michael McCulloch, left, and Violet Gould. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. From left, Cody Dunn, Maryam Niaz Muhammad, and Fowziya Cabdi Xuseen. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. From left, Cody Dunn, Maryam Niaz Muhammad, and Fowziya Cabdi Xuseen. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Ruby Chang and Michael McCulloch together on stage. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Ruby Chang and Michael McCulloch together on stage. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. The cast carry Brandon Sabourin around the stage. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. The cast carry Brandon Sabourin around the stage. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Cheye  Jones in the spotlight. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Cheye Jones in the spotlight. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Student actors Journey Nawrocky, left, and Tim Osmond. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Student actors Journey Nawrocky, left, and Tim Osmond. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Josh Bravo being helped through a difficult time. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Josh Bravo being helped through a difficult time. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. From left, Ardiana Kastrati, Ikram Abdulwahed, and Hanan Abdurahman. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. From left, Ardiana Kastrati, Ikram Abdulwahed, and Hanan Abdurahman. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10,2016 - Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius  Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Cheye  Jones, centre, breaking up a confrontation. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator. For story by: standup

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Students from Sir John A. MacDonald presented their play Better at Theatre Aquarius Tuesday night. The play seeks to breaks down barriers between cultures and reveal the difficulties newcomers face when coming to a new country. Cheye Jones, centre, breaking up a confrontation. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

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