For many years the staff of Still Point thought deeply about how our organization could address human trafficking in a way that might have some real impact. The True Cost: Stories of Human Trafficking is our answer. Our newest professional touring production gives voice to the forgotten ones: the people who are forced into sexual servitude; the children who are exploited as slave labor to provide cheap goods sold in our very own neighborhoods; the women and men who are lured into domestic work that turns out to be entrapment rather than employment. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are currently 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally, serving a $150 billion industry worldwide.
In interviews with three female trafficking survivors, playwright Jenny Magnus heard some recurring themes from the women. One thing that was reiterated is that human trafficking survivors might be standing next to us in the line at the grocery store, unbeknownst to us. Perpetrators might appear as respectable members of society; and businesses that appear to be completely legitimate might actually not be paying their workers. Survivors want people to know that human trafficking is happening everywhere, all around us – and that the perpetrators are getting away with it and making a huge amount of money.
This play is currently available for national bookings, for a modest fee. We encourage sponsors to host post-show discussions and informational sessions to help encourage awareness and advocacy on this issue in their communities.
Please enjoy the thoughtful responses from two of our actors about working on the show:
“Working on The True Cost opened my eyes to a world of trafficking that goes beyond the stories of kidnapping and physical force that we see in the news. A trafficker will use threats and manipulation so that a child performs the ugliest of slave labor and still returns home to parents each night. Sometimes it happens in the home, where the parent is the trafficker. The nannies and manicurists we see every day are often trafficked victims. Adults fall victims to trafficking out of financial desperation. They are slaves, and their chains are invisible to us. My hope is that this play will let us start seeing the chains so we can help the person next door who is suffering.”
“It is contested there is more slavery today than ever. With more and more products and services in an increasingly globalizing economy, the people who supply us (you) with coffee, clothes, pedicures, and other services, are kept further and further from care and consciousness. The True Cost is a light on that. It is my honor and duty to speak what is unspoken, about populations that are much closer to home than we think, not in my words, but theirs. This is the mission of the Still Point Theatre Collective, and I thank them endlessly for helping focus my artistic work in the direction it should be: service.”
Do you want to host a performance and encourage activism in your community? Please email Nate at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (773) 868-1700 for more information.
by Anita Dacanay