THE STORY: Freely translated as “Where are you from?” the title of the play refers to the increasing tide of illegal aliens who flee north to the United States from the economically and politically oppressed countries of Latin America. Seeking jobs and freedom from persecution, the refugees are, more often than not, met with indifference and even hostility, regardless of their circumstances, and deported back to their home countries—which can often mean certain death. In a series of sharply drawn scenes and monologues, with thirteen actors portraying more than forty characters, the author explores the individual stories of a cross section of refugees and those with whom they come in contact: overworked and increasingly cynical lawyers who try to win amnesty for them; a group of Catholic nuns who risk imprisonment to provide sanctuary; judges and immigration officials who must enforce often antiquated and even inhuman laws; and U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent who are torn between allegiance to their new country and compassion for those fleeing persecution and poverty in their old. A moving plea for understanding and forbearance, the play also becomes, in the end, a searing indictment of this nation’s immigration policies and a disturbing reminder of the terrible toll which these can exact, whether intentionally or not.
Comprised of a panoramic series of short scenes and monologues, with thirteen actors playing some forty-three characters, this powerful, moving play examines the plight of illegal aliens fleeing poverty and oppression in Latin America—only to run afoul of hostility and bureaucratic rigidity on the U.S. side of the border. Winner of the Rosenthal New Play Prize in its initial production by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. “…powerful and articulate…ideal fare for colleges and regional groups looking to fill intimate second stages with innovative new writing.” —Variety. “…visceral theater…should have a special appeal to other institutional theaters equally interested in provoking audiences into political awareness.” —NY Times.