Teatro Paraguas partners with Austin-based Ground Floor Theatre to present the New Mexico premiere of Raul Garza’s play “There and Back,” which portrays the human face of Mexican immigration and opens in Santa Fe on November 8.
The play is about a young woman named Gloria who travels from Mexico to join her husband Victor on a migrant farmworkers’ camp. Gloria dreams of a new and better life in the U.S. but begins to discover a very different reality as soon as she arrives.
“I had stage managed a 10-minute play festival that included the first version of “There and Back,” explains Patti Neff-Tiven, the co-director of Ground Floor Theatre and the director of the Santa Fe production. “When Raul saw Ground Floor Theatre’s call for submissions for a play focusing on immigration, he gave me a call about a full-length version he’d been working on. I was all in immediately.”
An award-winning playwright who received the National Latino Playwriting Award for his play “Fantasmaville,” Garza enjoys telling stories that focus on culture and a sense of place.
“There and Back reflects the human condition within a context of immigration,” he says. “That means that characters experience love, joy, laughter and conflict in addition to the overarching challenge of their economic situation. The play challenges me to authentically represent the everyday within the broad American cultural narrative. There and Back is a human, not a political, story.”
Neff-Tiven describes the play as “a beautiful, heart-warming and at times funny look at an issue that is very immediate to those of us in border states.”
“We hope this work challenges peoples’ impression of our current immigration crisis and helps show the human side of this debate,” she adds. “We’re very excited to share this piece with Santa Fe audiences who, like our original Austin audiences, know this debate all too well, but maybe don’t know the history or have the same personal experiences.”
Starring in the production are Karina Dominguez, Mical Trejo and Giselle Marie Muñoz.