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Nilaja Sun talks about her one-woman show, 'No Child'

LINDA ARMSTRONG Special to the AmNews | 8/10/2011, 1:29 p.m.

Sun hopes audiences will sympathize with what students endure in school, starting as they come in the entrance and pass through the metal detector.

"I'm not saying anything about needing metal detectors. I'm saying, if people imagined a world where the first 20 minutes of walking into a school, you go through what you go through walking into an airport...You have the feeling that you are wrong, you're a criminal, you've done something wrong, that's a feeling that bleeds through the whole day for the kids.

The idea is not just about metal detectors. In the play, we are rehearsing a show about convicts in Australia-the students related to this because they feel like criminals when they haven't done anything," Sun stated.

The play's narrator is the school janitor. He is a character who has been in the school for years and can give you all the information about the staff and students. Sun said, "This character is dedicated to all the janitors, lunch ladies and crossing guards who have been in the school year in and out and can tell you the history of the school. They never give up. When the janitor passes away, his soul is still in the building, so this is a love letter to those who have never quit on our kids."

There are a few thoughts Sun wants audiences to come away with. "Number one, I want them to see how whole our teenage Americans are-human beings with pains, joys and triumphs, sadness and tears, though they are still in a way children. I hope that you come away falling in love with one of them," Sun said.

Why come to see "No Child"? "Come if you want to see a raw, emotional piece where the performer is giving 100 million percent...Come on down," Sun invited.