Posts Tagged immigration plays
Here’s a review posted on the New Play Exchange about my play MOON OVER MANITOBA:
“A lovely, lively adventure between two strong young women, one from Honduras, one from Canada, who make their way out of Texas north to avoid ICE and seek shelter in Winnipeg. Yancey, always so good in everything he writes, here does a masterful job of telling a full, epic story with just two performers and a hockey stick. Veronica and Isabella are characters we root for, want to protect and will follow no matter where or how far they go. In Yancey’s capable hands, they’re strong, smart … and still just teenagers fumbling their way to safety. Spectacularly well done.”
— Matthew Weaver
MOON OVER MANITOBA
A play about immigration, with a cast of two teen-age girls. Veronica is a teenager from Canada, whose father’s job has taken the family to Texas. She’s homesick for Manitoba. She meets Isabella, who turns out to have arrived recently, and illegally, from Honduras after a harrowing trip from Central America. The two girls know no one else and strike up a tentative friendship. When Isabella’s cousin, with whom she’s living, is arrested by immigration agents, Isabella flees to Veronica’s house. Veronica impetuously decides they should run away to Canada, which Veronica is sure will accept Isabella. That’s Act 1. Act 2 is their trip north, which is full of danger and unexpected developments. Cast: Two teenage girls, one Latina.
OK, this is in the form of a rejection notice. But keep in mind that most theatres, in their rejection notices, never say anything specific at the work — they’re usually just form letters, which I don’t mind. But this one from a New York theatre was different:
“Thank you for sharing your play EXTRACTED with us at [name of theatre]. We quite enjoyed the play’s precise comic sensibility and symbolic meditation on contemporary America.” Then came “I’m afraid it’s not a perfect fit for [name of theatre] at this time.” Not a hit, but some nice words that the theatre didn’t have to say.
Here’s the synopsis of the show:
A dark allegorical tale about modern politics and immigration. An American truck driver sleeping in his cab at a truckstop in southern California is awoken by two teenage girls, Sam and Libby. He thinks they’re truckstop prostitutes and tries to run them away. Instead, the one explains that she has rescued her sister from drug gangs in Los Angeles and is trying to take her home to safety in New York. The rescued sister is our allegorical Statue of Liberty. In fact, she has not been rescued; she has been drugged against her will, for reciting — and practicing — the poem at the statue’s base: “give me your tired, your poor . . . ” As the roadtrip across North American unfolds, we see that the older sister is not, in fact, a protector and rescuer, but rather her kidnapper, who is trying to brainwash her. Along the way, the keep running into another truck driver, who is taking the same route across the country, and a mysterious woman. In the climactic scene, Sam has hired a tattoo artist to blot out “The New Colossus” poem that Libby has tattooed on her. Just then the two mystery figures burst in — revealing themselves to be special agents for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are mounting a hostage rescue and extraction to take Libby to safety in Canada. They are joined by a Mexican intelligence agent, as well, who they had previously met along the way at a truckstop. Cast: Eight — Five female (including who can pass for teens, and one Latina adult), three male.
My five-minute play SAGUARO has been included in a collection of plays about immigration being promoted by Protest Plays.
Earlier this year, Protest Plays included my five-minute play THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD in a similar collection of short plays related to mass shootings.
More on Protest Plays here.
Here’s a synopsis:
Two border patrol agents in Arizona are on the look-out for illegal immigrants. The veteran explains the desert to the rookie, with a twist at the end. Cast: Two males. Running time: Five minutes.
* Staged reading at No Shame Theatre, Roanoke, Va., July 22, 2011.