Feedback and Impact


Repertory Company High School

Emma and Irene,

I am writing to thank you both for all your hard work and support of our students in the American Dream Project. It was a very ambitious undertaking and I am incredibly proud of how well they did. I feel like it became a remarkably timely and important piece of work, for both the students and the audience.

Irene’s contribution to the success of the piece cannot be overstated. She was invaluable in helping the kids to find creative and dynamic ways of bringing these stories to life. We were very lucky to have her.

Thank you both  (and thanks to Town Hall) for helping to make it happen

Rob McIntosh, Teacher of Theatre, Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts

Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst

The Angle Project’s “Memory Train” program had a great impact on the Marks JCH community. The project was exceptionally well designed, facilitated, and organized.

 The participants openly expressed their satisfaction with the workshops. One of them told me, “When I come for the theater club, during the two hours I forget about all my problems, about everything, and enjoy the acting,” and another stated, “I have never thought that I can participate in such a project, I am so happy!” Even our eldest participant (who is 84 years old) was so committed to her role, that she received compliments from our audience for her realistic acting!

 And our audiences thought the performance to be meaningful. Many seniors present in the audience came to me and asked to be signed up for future sessions. One senior, who did not participate but saw the performance, said, “Inna, why didn’t you invite me to the project, this is mine, this is what I love…”

 As the director of the NNORC program, I am convinced that this project is very important for the seniors and for our community. First of all, it brings our community together. Secondly, it makes people feel good about themselves. Thirdly, other seniors see the performance and feel that they can also participate in such a project without any embarrassment, without any worries about acting in front of other people. As a social worker I do believe that this project can help seniors improve their self-esteem, can help fight depression, be together with their peers, and open up to communication with others.

-Inna Zaslavskaya, Director of the “Good Neighbors” Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC) Program, The Marks JCH of Bensonhurst


What did you discover about yourself through our work together?
  • How lucky I am to have my life and how small I am
    • Syrian Refugee Workshop Participant
  • I discovered that even though I am a citizen I can be effected by what is going on
  • One thing I discovered was if I put my mind to something and I try I can actually achieve it
  • I realized that I was able to connect to people who were different from me
  • I realized I have a bigger capacity to be open minded
    • American Dream Project Participants
What did you discover about others through our work together?
  • My peers’ effort reflected on my performance
  • People also have a lot in common
    • YouthBuild Identity Workshop Participants
  • I learned about my grandma’s Hispanic background and her personal individual struggles
  • Everyone comes from some type of struggle
  • The struggles may not seem as much, but to the person experiencing it, it’s too much to bear with
    • American Dream Project Participants
What did you discover about the world through our work together?
  • How big it is and how strong love can be
    • Syrian Refugee Workshop Participant
  • There are many different interpretations of “the American Dream”
  • The world is full of people with dreams
  • A lot of people are affected by Donald Trump’s words
  • The world treats people differently (negatively or positively)
    • American Dream Project Participants
What do you think you are going to do with your discoveries? How are they going to change the way you act/think/live?
  • Think before acting out. I can use this for everyday life
  • I am going to be more confident
    • YouthBuild Identity Workshop Participant
  • I am going to continue being open minded and not close people off based on their skin color or sexual orientation or religion
  • My discoveries are going to change the way I think because I’m not going to feel alone in my situation or feel like the only one. Other have similar situations sometimes worst and I can have my head up high as a proud immigrant in America
  • I realize everybody has their own struggles and situations that affect the way they live and I’m [aware] of that now
    • American Dream Project Participants
What would you like to say to our facilitators?
  • Thank you for seeing the good in bad. Thank you for never giving up! Even when some days we didn’t want to work on our piece, you always found a spark in us. You gave us new suggestions to keep us intrigued and engaged in the topic
  • Thank you Irene for helping us and guiding us to be better and making us look good on stage
    • American Dream Project Participants