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'Lost Boys Found' play to be performed at ASU's West campus

Lost Boys Found
October 01, 2014

Arizona State University’s West campus will host a workshop performance of “Lost Boys Found,” a play under development by ASU faculty member Julie Amparano, at 6 p.m., Oct. 8. The performance will be presented in the Kiva Lecture Hall on the West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Admission is free; visitor parking costs $2 per hour.

The play sheds light on the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who defied daunting odds to survive a brutal civil war that left many of them orphans. There is now a Lost Boys refugee population in metropolitan Phoenix, and Amparano launched an oral history project to document their remarkable stories. She has successfully competed for grants for her Lost Boys Found project and offers students the opportunity to become involved in the process of creating the oral histories.

“I’m hoping the play will make the words of the Lost Boys more accessible to a wide audience,” said playwright Amparano, a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “Arizona has the largest number of Lost Boys of any state in the country, so this is a story that is particularly relevant for residents of our state.”

Amparano plans to complete a full-length version of the play by the end of the year.

“This play and these oral histories go beyond the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan,” she said. “This is the stories of children in the war and the resilience of the human spirit.”

The Oct. 8 performance will be followed by a talkback with two Lost Boys, Jany Deng and Kuol Awan. Awan just returned from a trip to South Sudan. “Jany and Kuol are from different tribes – Nuer and Dinka,” Amparano said. “These two tribes are at war in South Sudan right now. But Jany and Kuol are working hand-in-hand here in the Unites States to spread the word of peace and the greater brotherhood.”

The workshop performance of “Lost Boys Found” was presented in May at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix, and seeing the production inspired ASU graduate student Arthur Morales to bring it to the West campus. Morales is pursuing New College’s master of arts in interdisciplinary studies degree and serves as president of the Interdisciplinary Student Association (ISA) on the West campus.

“ISA focuses on the importance of interdisciplinary studies,” Morales said. “Today’s world is one of increasing connectedness, and we are finding that viewing that world through multiple lenses or perspectives can help address and solve problems. ISA wants to share this awareness of our increasingly interdisciplinary world, allowing people working in all disciplines to join together and showcase the research questions driving them.”

Patrick Bixby, director of graduate studies in New College, serves as adviser for the Interdisciplinary Student Association. He will introduce the workshop performance of “Lost Boys Found.”

The event is sponsored by Undergraduate Student Government at the West campus, with support from the Interdisciplinary Student Association and New College. For more information, contact Arthur Morales at or (602) 543-6295.