Posted by: | Posted on: May 15, 2017

Foreign Objects: “Looking For The Man In The Mirror”

Have you ever asked yourself, who am I? What is my purpose in life? And how do I get to what I am supposed to do? We live in a world where our purpose in life is more valuable that life itself and the meaning of who we are is far less significant than what we believe it means. Confusing? Well in Goodman Theatre new masterpiece called Objects In The Mirror, these are the questions that Shedrick Yarkpai had to endure at a young age. He was living a life that was forever changing in a world where the realism of who he was could suddenly have a fatal ending even before his life had a chance to live.

He had a name but it couldn’t live. He has an existence but it had to die. He had a family but for him to live they couldn’t survive. He had a nightmare that lived within him that no matter how hard he tried to kill it, it terrorized him and would not die.

It is said that a name can be changed to protect the innocent, however when you live in the war-torn West African coastal home of Liberia; changing your name means life. This young man of fourteen, whom passage of existence, was either to be forced into being a young militant soldier or running border to border from the ruins of civil war chaos. He had to make the decision between living with his mother and facing a tragic life of certain death or leaving her behind and accepting this new name that allows him to live in a whole new world filled with the promises of freedom. With great anguish and trepidation, he makes that decision to leave with his uncle and cousin where he begins a treacherous journey to gain his freedom but it’s at a cost of losing his identity.

Playwright Charles Smith begins this compelling story with Shedrick Yarkpai, a Liberian refugee in his new home in Australia. Shedrick, now known as Zaza Workolo, due to the death of his cousin who joined one of the many young rebel recruits is confronted with an all too familiar dilemma as he seeks to board a bus. Zaza tells his story to Mr. Mosher his Australian mentor who cares very deeply for him and his mentor’s  delightfully love for him, seeks to revenge this wrong that has afflicted Zaza. Plagued by his past, Shedrick is conflicted if he should proceed with the plans to right his wrong and begin to unfold his heartbreaking story about living in refugee camps and being one of the few “Lucky” ones that were granted resettlement papers into international sanctuary countries. But most of these camps usually provided only false hopes after risking their lives crossing borders; many were left in these United Nations camps for decades with nothing more than an below poverty lifestyle.

His tales of life and death captivates Mr. Mosher which starts off a chain reaction of deception and deceptive ways of controlling Shedrick to follow his desire to free himself and claim his name or continue to live within the prison of his true identity so that others could live freely without fear.

Goodman Theatre touched the sky with this exceptional performance that will give theater aficionados goosebumps as they take a ride on the magnificent journey that forces us to look into our own mirror to see how fragile a life can be. Charles Smith as a playwright has taken us to another level of his ingenious skills of pen to paper to life as he recreates each moment of this breathtaking battle of the underlining decisions we make in lieu of what is best for others. Daniel Kyri who played Sherdick Kennedy Yarkpai and Allen Gilmore who played the uncle that became the father John Workolo was superb. Rick is a visual addict so he would have loved to have  seen a more true to life scenery to draw us in even closer to the overall effect of living, traveling and surviving in war-torn countries but acknowledged that the performance of the actors provided him with enough mental cognizance that he could visualize from within.

We highly recommend seeing this gripping, tragic and therapeutically story of life where a young man can say to himself “I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life, it’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right.” For I, Shedrick Kennedy Yarkpai is looking at the man in the mirror!

Goodman Theater Presents


Playwright: Charles Smith

Director: Chuck Smith

Now Playing April 29 – June 4, 2017

The cast included:

Daniel Kyri (Shedrick Kennedy Yarkpai)

Breon Arzell (Zaza Workolo)

Allen Gilmore (John Workolo)

Ryan Kitley (Rob Mosher)

Lily Mojekwu (Luopu Workolo)

Let’s Play

Rick & Brenda McCain

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