Ode to social justice

Matt Parks ’21
Student in spotlight sitting thoughtfully in folding chair on dark stage.

Jesuit High School Drama’s fall play, “In the Matter of Scott Daniel Warren, or Scenes and Fragments about a Play in the Desert,” challenged a complex reality, leaving an impact on its audience. 

The show, which touched on aspects of immigration, blended Catholic social justice teachings, contemporary influences, and real accounts. Centered around the prosecution of Scott Warren, who provided aid to two migrants, the play dissected the intent behind Warren’s actions.

While the national political landscape is very divided concerning the issue of immigration, the show was able to give an honest presentation of the nuances of the immigration question through the portrayal of the trial attorneys’ questioning of witnesses and their opening and final arguments. The actors found moments to counterbalance facts with emotions, different perspectives with reality.

The play’s commentary addressed the more local audience of the Jesuit community. Fr. McGarry praised the show for taking risks in its subject matter and its demonstration of the kind of people all Jesuit students should strive to be. 

“[The play] shows the courage and maturity of our students, and addressing this kind of issue is at the heart of what Jesuit education hopes for in our students as committed to justice,” Fr. McGarry said. 

Layers of depth were presented in both the performers and in the play’s storytelling, allowing the exploration of truth to become more impactful. Admittedly, the show was not designed to change the minds of the audience, but rather to invoke understanding. 

Members within the Jesuit community noted the great importance of these issues. George Sicner ’21 took inspiration from the show and hopes that the message resonates with his peers.

“The play…gave me hope,” George said. “I hope that the play inspires Jesuit students to stick with their morals no matter the cost.” 

Ms. Sarah Kelso, a Spanish teacher in the World Language Department, valued the authenticity of the show and expressed hope that the play translates into the Jesuit community. She also saw the play as an opportunity to put Jesuit’s Grad-at-Grad mission into action.

“The play left me with a knot in my throat,” Ms. Kelso said. “To not poke fun nor create distance regarding race, social class, or different life experiences. To not be so quick to attach opinions to political parties to further divides, but to discern complex issues by pausing, listening to understand, gaining knowledge and paying attention to the heart.” 

Through the thought-provoking show, “In the Matter of Scott Warren,” the company produced a significant testament to the legacy of Jesuit Drama. The show urged the examination of difficult issues and opinions as well as reached for a call to action. 

In the words of Ms. Kelso, “If the knowledge and your heart move you … take action towards greater social justice.”

Matt Parks ’21, Copy Editor