TAS Voices: Reflections on Loss and Conflict after Premiering the Play, "Our ResponsAbility"

In this recurring series, we invite readers to learn more about the incredible people who make TAS the vibrant learning community we know and love.   

The following is an essay by current upper school student Moya B. on her experience performing a significant role in the Asia premier of "Our ResponsAbility," a play that is centered around a collection of first-person accounts from the ongoing war in Ukraine assembled into an original script by Vitalii Havura. Before performing the play, TAS cast members held video calls with cast members in Ukraine for a firsthand glimpse into what living through an invasion is like. In addition, the TAS cast shared the production at TAS and the recent IASAS Cultural Convention held in Malaysia earlier this spring.    

By Moya B. ('25)  

Participating in the play "Our ResponsAbility" was a profound experience for me as a student and actor. During a video call with the original actors, writer, and director, I was immediately struck by their experiences of performing the play amidst the ongoing war.   

What first stood out to me was that an air raid siren went off during the cast's opening night, but the performance continued as it seemed to have become normalized. This astounded me as I realized how desensitized people involved in the war have evolved to the violence and danger around them. There is a cliche that the "show must go on," but seeing that cliche come to life in the middle of a war is an entirely different experience for me as a student and as an actor. They are committed to their craft and clearly committed to their nation, as evidenced by their continued choice to stay in Ukraine.  

Despite being desensitized, it was clear that those involved in the war were still devastated by the atrocities and losses they had experienced. This made me reflect on how sheltered and privileged my own life was, as I had never had to live under the constant stress of potential obliteration. It also made me think about how important it is to take action in any way possible to help those affected by the war.    

By participating in this play, the incredible cast and everybody involved has raised more awareness of the reality of the war and not just what you see on social media. For example, when traveling to IASAS cultural convention in Malaysia and performing the piece there, it became apparent what impact it has on people.   

Our audience consisted of so many people from different backgrounds — for example, there was a girl with family currently in Ukraine, a Russian boy, and people who'd never given the war much thought. Yet everybody there felt touched and emotional. Undeniably they felt a sense of responsibility. And in this disconnected modern world, that is how we helped.   


This play has the power to reveal the truth behind the war and the suffering and cruelty endured by innocent people caught in the conflict. It serves as a call to action, urging us to stand with those fighting for their independence and not tolerate war anywhere in the world. The experience has made me even more committed to using my voice and resources to help those affected by war and to make a positive impact in any way I can.  

EPILOGUE: "Our ResponsAbility" was directed by Upper School Theater Teacher, Austin Farwell. It was performed by the cast in the TAS Black Box Theater on February 24 & 25 and at ISKL in Malaysia during IASAS Cultural Convention on March 1-5, 2023. Cast and Tech Crew included: Moya B., Ivan W., Emily W., Jolie C., Taarini S., Miya K., Choe H., Sage R., Nathan S., Amalia B., Cailey J., Sora I., Zachary K., Theo F.