Gitana Productions’ “New World” original one-act play about women refugees in St. Louis returns March 1 for Women’s History Month

Gitana Productions’ “New World” original one-act play about women refugees in St. Louis returns March 1 for Women’s History Month February 23, 2018


ST. LOUIS, MO – Gitana Productions will present “New World,” an original one-act play about three refugee women from Afghanistan, Bosnia and the Republic of the Congo, this March and April in recognition of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Admission is free for all performances.

“New World” is a one-hour play by Lee Patton Chiles based on interviews and documented accounts of three women who came to St. Louis hoping to create a new world by healing old world wounds. A Q & A session with actors and representatives from the refugee community will follow each performance.

“New World” has returned to stage because of its relevance and power at a time when questions about immigration and acceptance of refugees continues to be controversial in America,” said Cecilia Nadal, executive director of Gitana Productions.  “The play gives voice to women who make up the local refugee community and tells their stories. Most often the policy debates we hear do not include the voices of women immigrants and refugees — they and their children are in fact the majority of those coming to the USA.”

Gitana will present free, public performances of “New World” at multiple different locations throughout the region, including St. Louis City and County. Actors Vivian Anderson Watt, Jessica Alvarado and Natalie Walker performed the play to standing ovations in 2016.

Webster University
March 1, Thursday at 1:30 PM
Eden Seminary Campus
Luhr Bldg. 475 E. Lockwood, St. Louis 63119 (Free Parking)
Register at

St. Louis Community College at Forest Park
Tuesday, March 6, 1:00 p.m.
Mildred Bastian Theater
5600 Oakland, St. Louis 63110 (Free Parking)

St. Louis County Library
Thursday, March 22, 7:00 p.m.
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis 63131 (Free Parking)

Central Library
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 p.m.
1301 Olive, Downtown St. Louis (Metered Parking)

**Additional public performances will be posted at

Audience Quotes

“The three actresses were unbelievable in their portrayal of these women. People were so moved. They wanted to know how they could help now that they knew the truth. What an education!”

“The play changed my mind regarding refugees. I was aware of their problems but not aware of their traumas. I saw another dimension, much deeper.”

Q&A Panelists

Panelists of the Q & A session following each performance include:

  • Sandra Arumugam-Osburn, originally from Malaysia who received St. Louis Community College’s Teacher of the Year award and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching award.
  • Kristin Bulin, former executive director for the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma, who led a team of mental health therapists, youth mentors, and volunteers using integrative, mind-body therapeutic services for refugees and asylum seekers living in St. Louis.
  • Layla Azmi Goushey, an associate professor of English at St. Louis Community College, will also be on the panel. Professor Goushey’s scholarly work is focused on Arab and Arab-American literature and culture.


Gitana Productions, Inc. is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural awareness and collaboration by bringing international music, dance and drama to the St. Louis community. Events produced by Gitana present a rarely seen diversity of international and local artists exhibiting both traditional and innovative artistic expressions. For more information, visit or call Gitana Productions at (314) 721-6556.


Media Contact
Sharon Thatcher

Interviews can be arranged with the producer, actresses, playwright and refugee advocates in St. Louis.


Synergy Group