October 4-5, 2013, time TBA
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center, 600 River Street - CLICK FOR MAP
One Journey is a woman’s coming of age story on the United States/Mexico border cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. This documentary one-woman theater play weaves personal border interviews and creative imagination to convey the generational and cultural differences between a mother and her daughter who are raised on opposite sides of the border.
This story takes place at the El Paso Country Sheriff’s Office where Luz visits her daughter Griselda who is arrested for a drug related crime. Luz, born and raised in extreme poverty conditions in Juarez, is forced to confront the challenges that her daughter’s generation is facing in the United States. Through Luz’s narration of her own struggles she must find a way reconcile her experiences of poverty with her daughter’s cultural and spiritual loss of self that is engendered by internalized anti-immigrant sentiment, border enforcement policies and a saturation of drugs on the border.
This play is a multi-character theater piece that incorporates comedy, poetry, movement, dance, music, and multimedia projections to convey El Paso/Juarez border life and culture. Using minimal props, and video background as part of the setting, Yadira creates the border on which characters negotiate their identities from one nation to another. The play is approximately one hour long and includes ten characters, all which serve to represent different perspectives regarding border dynamics.
From the artist: I began writing for theater in a creative effort to understand my identity as an American from the U.S./Mexico borderland of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Living on the margins of the United States and Mexico, I often felt ignored or completely overlooked by mainstream media in both countries. What did it mean for me to live in a small community divided by a fence that separated my family by nationality, and for us to compromise our cultural heritages depending on what side of the border we were on and for our bi-national lifestyles to be directly impacted by border enforcement everyday? Theater has provided the vehicle for me to address U.S./Mexico border identity and issues such as immigration, labor, femicide (mass killing of women) and the recent war on drugs. These issues have impacted my community for generations and continue to inform the artist I am today. In the lack of women’s voices like mine, I am inspired to represent these marginalized American stories and to use the stage to universalize our personal experiences in the larger global context.
One Journey: Stitching Stories Across the Mexican “American” Border began as an idea, a seed planted in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, nourished in the Bay Area, California and harvested in New York City. After ten years of digging for my history through insightful family and community interviews, I was determined to transform the richness of their stories into a dramatic interpretation that became this one-woman show. One Journey had its world premier in 2010 with an independently produced collaborative project entitled Emerging Identities: Bodies on the Line. Since then I have had the privilege of perform One Journey in different theaters, community centers and universities throughout the United States to raise awareness of the socio-political realities of border life. My vision is to reach international audiences, promote women’s stories and question the meaning of borders in today’s world through the lens of theater.
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