Albany Park Theater Project Presents God’s Work: Interview With Cast Member

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Courtesy of Albany Park Theater Project

Paloma Morales joined Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) when she was thirteen years old, four and three plays ago. Audiences will remember her as the young Ahlam selling her treasured dolls to audience members in Home/Land, and as the young heroine who loses her childhood home in I Will Kiss These Walls. Paloma took a break from rehearsals to reflect on APTP’s new play, God’s Work, and her four years with the company.

APTP: Do you remember any first impressions of APTP from your earliest days?
PALOMA MORALES: I have been an APTP ensemble member for four years now, but I can still remember my first week at APTP perfectly. My first day I walked into APTP and was greeted by one of the directors, Rossana Rodríguez Sanchéz. She gave me a tour of APTP and introduced me to all the veteran company members that we ran into. I remember thinking, “Everyone is so happy and energetic.” Everyone’s hellos and smiles were so contagious, I couldn’t help but smile. I felt so welcomed.

APTP: Right now, you are rehearsing God’s Work. Why do you think this is an important story to tell?
PALOMA: God’s Work is different from the last couple of plays that I have done with APTP. God’s Work focuses on one person’s story instead of several story tellers. God’s Work also focuses on love and hatred all at the same time. In God’s Work we hear the story of a young girl living in a cold world of hatred, a world that somehow she was able to escape when she was very young. Although she can’t remember her escape, although it was only for a moment, and although her escape didn’t last that long, somehow she was able to preserve an amazing quality that she felt and experienced during her escape. This young girl, Rachel, was able to experience love. Even after she is forced back into the cold world, Rachel is able to the light at then end of a dark tunnel because of the love she experienced when she was only a baby. God’s Work shows that love is one of the strongest things in the world and it can be felt in even the worse situations imaginable.

APTP: What role do you play, and what does your character mean to you?
PALOMA: I play Naomi in God’s Work. I am the third eldest out of 18 children. Naomi is very different from my past roles. In this role I am a protector. I help Rachel in any way that I can. I protect Rachel because I am able to see that Rachel is worth protecting. She has something inside her that should not be harmed, which is why the rest of us in the family consider her the lucky one. Naomi is special in my eyes because she acts out of love, even though she doesn’t know it. Naomi, just like the rest of the children in this world, is capable of loving even though she doesn’t really understand the emotion.

APTP: You’re a junior, which means next year is your final year as an ensemble member. Any hopes or dreams for what you do with the company during your final year?
PALOMA: I remember when I was a freshman and Maggie kept saying about me, “Thank God we have three more years with her.” Time flew by so fast, and now I only have one year left. My hope is that I leave knowing everyone can take care of one another like a family. The main thing of APTP is that we are all family. I want to see a family continue to grow at APTP. And I want to leave APTP knowing that each and every single person in this theater company is confident in themselves just like I am right now. I want people to be able to recognize when their abilities are growing, I want them to feel confident when they stand and raise their voice. I want them to know APTP will always be their second home just like it always will be for me. I am truly grateful that I will forever be a part of APTP.

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