One World

Pearson College students setting the bar

Pearson College students sing, dance and perform their mandate

Michael Legere already knows how he’ll feel when it’s over.

After all the students descend upon the McPherson Playhouse stage one final time, applause will rise, the curtains falls and Pearson College’s One World variety show will end with silence. Everyone on or behind the scenes, will take a few minutes to reflect on their amazing journey. The shows stage manager has seen it before.

“No one knows what to say, everyone is feeling pretty happy, pretty relieved, pretty excited to finished the last performance and the sentiment is really that of love,” he said. “It’s just one of those times when all of Pearson is seated together and there are a few moments where everyone is speechless, that is what I am looking forward too.”

One World, showcasing performance art from Indigenous Malaysian dance, to spoken word presentations from two Syrian students, to Ukrainian dance, isn’t your typical high school performance he said. The second-year Pearson College student from New Brunswick didn’t realize that himself until he was blown away not only by the acts, but what they represent.

“(The acts) are all meant to represent or say something about the people of Pearson and where the people come from. Some acts you see will be very definitively (from a) country but some other acts are mixes of various cultures,” he said. “As much as possible we try to portray something about our collective identity that way.”

The bar is set high but Legere said all 160 students from 80 countries will rise to the occasion when One World takes the stage for two public performances on Saturday, March 5, at 2 and 8 p.m.

He said the show is an opportunity for youth to reach those heights, where they might not if not given the opportunity. Désirée McGraw, president and head of Pearson College, said she is seeing that already and hopes the public comes out to support the show.

“It’s a hallmark, a signature, it’s an opportunity for the whole community to really come together and rally behind a visual, theatrical, creative representation of what we are at Pearson as one of 15 United World Colleges around the world celebrating diversity through stories, music and dance,” she said. “I really feel that One World is the physical representation of our mission.”

One of 15 United World College schools, their mission is to make education a force to unite peoples, cultures and nations for a more peaceful and sustainable future, she said. One of 15 such schools, Pearson being the second, was created in 1974 and named after Lester B. Pearson.

Legere, in his final year at the school said his time there has changed his views of the world and he looks forward to continuing that alongside every single student in the school, all of whom are either on or behind the stage.

“The hilarious thing is some people know very little about Pearson and they see One World and think we are performance arts students because we have a lot of talented students, artists and dancers, so this aspect of Pearson is incredibly enjoyable because there is a lot of talent to work with,” he said. “It’s a pretty magical experience in some regards and I think that we learn quite a bit from each other when working together on a project. Our goal is that the audience sees that and how we all come together to produce this one night or three shows of a piece of art.”

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