Fronteras: San Antonio-Native Portrays Mother’s Immigrant Story In Solo Play ‘Carmen From Mexico’
Immigrant stories are embedded into United States’ history as the arrival of new people helped shape the country’s economic and cultural landscape. These immigrant stories can be first-hand personal accounts or passed down from generations, but they are largely universal and can influence one’s personal identity.
San Antonio-native, writer and actor Anna De Luna tells the story of her mother’s immigrant experience filled with harrowing yet sometimes comical struggles in adapting to life in Texas in her solo play, “Carmen from Mexico.”
The project is the result of years of interviews with her mother, Carmen Villafuerte De Luna, and stories shared by Carmen and De Luna’s grandmother. It came to fruition out of De Luna’s frustration over anti-immigrant rhetoric circulating within the political sphere.
“I felt like, you know what, this is a really important time to share this story and to show that we all need to really remember where we came from and to also say that the people that are trying to come here are not rapists, they're not murderers,” De Luna said. “They are just people that want a better life for themselves, just like my mother and my grandmother.”
“Carmen from Mexico” is told through the perspective of a young Carmen when she left her life in Mexico behind as a young girl and was thrust into the day-to-day struggles of racism and cultural shock as a young immigrant in South Texas.
Two local musicians, guitarist Mike Ryan and accordionist Michael Galindo, are featured as musical accompaniments in the play. Ryan and Galindo set the mood for the show, explained De Luna, feeding off her tempo, energy and theme of each scene.
Live performances of “Carmen from Mexico” will take place at San Antonio’s Guadalupe Theater on Aug. 13–14 with a limited number of tickets available due to coronavirus capacity safety precautions.
While her solo play has its weekend debut, De Luna is already thinking of future projects inspired by her work as a social justice activist.
“There's so many, so many things that need to be addressed and told in an artistic way that's not just entertaining, but also really maybe can influence change.”
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