A story of understanding that all kids can learn from.
Omar is a refugee newly arrived in Canada. He’s trying to feel at home in his new school, but his efforts keep getting lost in translation. How can he fit in and make new friends?
A comedy with an emotional punch, Whole World shows the struggle of immigrants speaking English as a second language and encourages the audience to be critical of their own perceptions and reach an understanding with their peers. The audience is bound to have a wonderful time following Omar through his life in elementary school.
In the funny and touching Whole World, grade six Omar is frustrated at being mistaken for a bully because of the challenges of communicating as an English-as-a-second-language student. As a member of a newly immigrated refugee family, he is dealing with many fears and insecurities. He tries to confront those who are mislabelling him as a bully with unexpected results.
The other students Omar interacts with are, at first, afraid of him. They imagine him to be a bully and want to expose him. Nashira, a seventh grade documentary film maker, tries to capture the situation with her camera. Alex, his ego bruised by school yard confrontations with Omar, dreams about defeating him in the same way the Hulk defeats Thor. And the fifth grade kid who gets caught up in their quests wonders how this unlikely collection of people fit together. Could they, like the junk in his favourite salvage yard, come together to make something unexpected and wonderful?
We recognize that families may wish to discuss this play before or after the performance. For our shows, we provide families with an introductory letter about the show, available here.
To support you and your children’s educators, Carousel Players develops Study Guides in partnership with Brock University’s Faculty of Teacher Education. The Whole World study guide is available here.
We also recommend the following resources:
- ‘It holds all the culture’: How a Syrian man reclaimed his prized collection of ouds – a CBC radio documentary about culture, community, and connection.
- Chimamanda Ngoxi TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivers a Ted Talk about the importance of taking time to learn other people’s whole story. “The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
- Immigrant, Newcomer And Refugee Services – Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant – groups providing services for newcomers and opportunities to support the newcomer community