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Raisin family: Essayists tell what home is to them

Citizen Staff Writer



Cozy and safe, with the scent of pancakes on the griddle.

That’s what home means to Noah Deitch, a seventh-grader at St. Gregory College Preparatory School.

For Sahuarita High School junior Kristen Martin, home means rising above the violence and fear of the past into a promising future.

Noah, 12, and Kristen, 17, are the Tucson winners of Arizona Theatre Company’s AMERICA PLAYS! essay contest, held in conjunction with the production of “A Raisin in the Sun.”

The play, which tells the story of the multigenerational Younger family living on Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s, runs through Saturday.

To reflect the themes of the play, students were asked to write an essay that answers, “What do home and family mean to me?”

Noah won in the middle school level.

“We watch baseball, and then jumping up and down like six monkeys with five bananas, we root for our team,” he wrote. “Our house shakes as if in an earthquake; we hug each other and cheer when our team wins. Home is getting to my nice cozy bed: the memories of the past day keep coming in my head, and I fall asleep soundly. I wake up and hear the crispy pancakes in the frying pan.”

ATC associate artistic director Samantha K. Wyer said, “Noah’s description of his family life makes you feel like you are right there with his family.”

Kristen is the winner in the high school category. She wrote about being the child of divorce, and of suffering abuse until recently, when a stepfather joined the family.

“My stepdad has cleansed the wounds of our past and in turn gave us a family that is loving, and with this family I have now a home,” she wrote.

Said Wyer, “Kristen’s evocative writing style illuminated her family’s struggle to come to terms with the past and move forward together toward a bright future.”

They received tickets for their families to see “A Raisin in the Sun” and a chance to meet the actors along with other prizes from 92.9 The Mountain.

• To read the essays, go online to tucsoncitizen.com/family and select this article.

‘I can fully appreciate the blessing of my family now. . . . I no longer have to survive: I live. I no longer fear the weekends: I look forward to them. I no longer am abused: I am cherished.’

Kristen Martin,

high school level essay winner

‘My dad takes me (to school) every morning. . . . My dad always says “Treat everybody with respect.” . . . My family and home are the greatest, and I am very thankful that I am lucky enough to have them.’

Noah Deitch,

middle school level essay winner

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