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Actor shares his refugee story in new play at Gum-Dip Theater

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AKRON, Ohio Neema Bal said he started working at the Gum-Dip Theater more than five years ago.


What do you want to know

  • Neema Bal grew up in refugee camps
  • He co-wrote a play called ‘Three Countries, One Mother’ about his family’s experience
  • It runs at the Gum-Dip Theater until August 14

We’re trying to present the story that’s not really in the mainstream most of the time,” Bal said.

Until August 14, Bal stars in a show he co-wrote called Trois pays, une mère.

This show is about the story of the life I lived, Bal said.

He said the piece honors his mother’s commitment to providing a better life for her family. They moved from county to country as refugees.

My mother was born and raised in Bhutan, and they came to Nepal and became refugees. That’s where I was born, in the refugee camps, and I grew up there, Bal said. Around 2008, … we had the opportunity to go to the third country of resettlement and where we chose Akron, Ohio, and we came to the United States with all my family.

Working day and night in the fields so the family could have enough to eat is just one of the ways Bal said his mother supported the family.

When I was in the refugee camp, I thought, now is the time. This is the life we ​​have. Right? And in a way, like, you have no comparison to anybody, any type of life, and so you accept somewhere like, OK, that’s what it is,’ Bal said. .

He said he didn’t realize they were living in what he calls survival mode until they left the refugee camps.

When I came here, now like, I start[ed] to realize that, wow, the way we were growing up was really, like, sad in a way. where we don’t have [have] good education, proper health treatment or whatever, something like that,” Bal said.

Bal said he feels lucky to be living in the United States now.

I have the opportunity to share my story, and it’s almost like a dream [for me][my] dreams have come true, Bal said.

He said he thinks Akron is the perfect place to perform his play.

Akron is kind of like this immigrant-friendly city [community] and it is the story of the immigrant and his struggles from the story of his life. I really think it will be fine here, Bal said.

He said his family agreed.

All my family came, except my father. They had very, uh, I think they, they [were] very moved by the story, even though they didn’t really speak English, they could understand the actions because it’s their story, Bal said.

If you want to attend the show, you can buy tickets here.

Sources

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2/ https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/columbus/news/2022/08/03/gum-dip-theatre

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