Seeking Refuge by Rick Jones
Saleet and Mara are two sisters struggling to survive amid the chaos of civil war, their home destroyed, their family dead. The only thing of value that remains is their mother’s jewellery – enough to barter for passage to freedom – for one. Tobim and Beerko, two militia fighters, find the sisters and offer to take one to a human smuggler, Zaydal, to make her escape. As Saleet makes her slow journey toward a new life, she befriends Manu, an electrical engineer fleeing the prospect of conscription. They plan a marriage of convenience to increase their chance of acceptance as immigrants in the Nation.
Meanwhile, Mara is brutalised in a camp of fighters where she is beaten physically and emotionally into submission by Tobim. Against her will, she takes on the role of medic to the fighters. Beerko attempts to rape Mara but is caught in the act by Tobim, who banishes him from the camp. Tobim realises he has true feelings for Mara, but circumstances make any return of feelings impossible. When Nation forces arrive and tip the balance of the civil war, Tobim and his fighters are branded as terrorists,
In a refugee camp, Saleet and Manu make the best of their situation, trying to make contact with Manu’s aunt in the Nation to sponsor their flight to freedom. Despite her lack of proper paper work, Saleet and Manu achieve their dream of reaching the Nation thanks to a change in their family situation, aided by Helen, an overworked UNHCR volunteer. When Saleet reaches her new home and the comfort of Manu’s aunt’s welcome in the Nation, she remembers her promise to send for her sister, but Nation security denies her request because of her association with Tobim. Gregor, an NGO employee in the homeland, contacts Mara to let her know of her sister’s personal success and disappointing failure to obtain immigrant status for her sister. Saleet makes one last desperate attempt to save Mara with Gregor’s help, but the attempt ends in disaster, as Mara is caught trying to enter the Nation using Saleet’s passport. Tobim awaits Mara’s return to the homeland, little knowing that she is the bait in a trap set by security forces, led by his old nemesis Beerko. Tobim, Mara, and the security team race off the stage, and a single shot rings out.
A musical tragedy.
Keywords: sisters, refugees, middle-east conflict, terrorist, UNHCR, civil war, musical, musical tragedy, tragedy
Running Time: 90 minutes
Male Cast: 3
Female Cast: 3
Double Cast: 3
Suitable for School Productions: students 12+
Maximum Number of Roles: 30
Minimum Number of Roles: 9
There are 14 named characters in this work, with the possibility of an additional chorus. Of the 14 characters, 6 are of fixed gender, while the other 8 could be male or female with minor name changes and multiple roles could be played by several actors. This work is scored for piano but the writer is willing to create arrangements for a small ensemble of the producer's choosing for a small cost. The score can be downloaded for examination here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/