San Pedro High School has established a good friendship and student exchange program with Los Angeles Harbor College through now retired Professor, Larry Heimgartner and his wife, Debbie Heimgartner (current costume designer for the Theatre Department at LAHC) for over a decade now.
Theatrical drama is presented to students of San Pedro High, a program designed by Larry and former principal Angel Nuñez, to draw attention to social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, bullying and rape, among others.
On Thursday, June 5, 2014, students of San Pedro High witnessed and enjoyed two presentations, one that dealt with inspiration and following one’s dreams and one on women’s rights; they were presented by Jenny Morrison and Sarah MacKenzie of Scotland.
Inspirational Dance Presentation
Jenny Morrison related the story of her dance life through narration and dance. She related her love for dance and how she grew up being a very talented young girl. By the age of three Jenny was one of the best tap dancers and by the age of six she went to her first major dance audition and nailed it! Jenny couldn’t have done this without the moral support and love of her grandfather or as she called him ‘Papa Jack’.
Papa Jack was Jenny’s Hero a father figure and mentor. Papa Jack always shared words of wisdom with her told her to work with nature and not against it, as every good and perfect gift comes from above.
“Papa always said, ‘to plant is to believe in tomorrow’, I was his little mustard seed, and papa believed in me,” stated Jenny. “He believed in me and my future! Challenge yourself because if things were easy everybody would do it. Dare to dream and be a dreamer that does! Look for inspiration and be fearless!”
Jenny Morrison is from Scotland and has BA in Classical Ballet and Dance Performance with Distinction. Some career highlights for Jenny include playing the good fairy in the Universal Films feature film Snow White and the Huntsman. As well as landing a job dancing at The Royal Opera House with their production of Les Vepres Scilliennes. Jenny is a founding member and creative co-ordinator of The London Ballet Company.
Women’s Right Presentation
Sarah Mackenzie is a returning visitor who had her audience in tears in a heart touching dramatization on rape and breaking the cycle of silence which she presented to the High School students. This year she returned with Debbie and Larry to talk to the students about women’s right.
“We need each other to respect each other! This is our world inclusive not exclusive of women. The silence of past generation should not be repeated,” stated Sarah. “If you want to be heard you have to make noise! I know what it feels to be controlled by a man, to be in an abusive relationship! Education is the key to woman's right!” Sarah took a bold stance and talked about women’s right. She indicated that three and a half billion women in the world are affected by inequality of women’s rights.
Sarah spoke of women’s right activists such as Menal al-Sharif from Saudi Arabia who helped start a women's right to drive campaign in 2011. Menal is a computer scientist and has been a women’s right activist for many years. She was imprisoned for driving a car and as of 2013, women in Saudi Arabia have limited freedom of movement and (in practice) are not allowed to drive motor vehicles. Al-Sharif is one of the many women who up to this date are fighting for women’s rights!
“Don’t’ get me wrong I love men, but I'm a feminist!,” stated Sarah. “I want equality! Most men are good but a minority of them make the rest look bad! Equality for all still remains unattained!” Sarah stressed on the importance to take a stand and help end this vicious cycle where women are abused, mistreated, victims of human trafficking, sex exploitation among others.
Sarah is a London based actress and presenter originally from Glasgow. She is a versatile actress in drama and comedy. She has performed in several Shakespeare plays and most recently she has been producing and acting in an Aids awareness play (Are you positive?).
Ambergris Today salutes Larry and Debbie for their love of the children and teenagers of San Pedro Town and thanks the young talented girls that come and make presentations with messages of hope.