Monday, July 6, 2009

Unemployed day laborers turn to street theater

Imagine a group of construction workers, immigrants, breaking into a rendition of Shakespeare at the site of the new arts complex on South Tryon.

It’s a stretch, I know, but the thought went through my mind as I was reading this story about a similar scenario taking place at day-laborer sites in Los Angeles.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Teatro Jornaleros Sin Fronteras – Day Laborer Theater Without Borders – is performing plays at city work sites to entertain other day laborers. The stories include real-life challenges such as alcoholism and religious themes such as fighting off demands of the devil. There have even been a few plays about life as an illegal immigrant and fears of being swept up in a raid.

"In our culture, some guys have never seen a play," said Juan José Mangandi, a Salvadoran laborer who serves as the troupe's director. "They think that only high-life people, like in Hollywood, can make theater. But when they see us, they say, 'He's like me.' "

Members of the troupe were recruited at day-labor job sites. About 50 people auditioned for the dozen spots. The actors come from Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which cosponsors the troupe, said that the artistic depiction of day-laborer issues is especially relevant given the economic meltdown that has left many immigrants without work. He added that Teatro Jornaleros also offers a little humor during stressful times.

"It's bringing a smile to their faces in this moment of crisis," Alvarado told the Monitor. "Times are tough. Competition has increased. When the Teatro Jornaleros comes to a [street] corner that's going through a difficult time, it's beautiful."

Photos: flickr, John D. Simmons -


Anti-Illegals said...

Franco is really reaching doing a story like this. Most people know that "day laborers" is a synonym for "illegal immigrant". A popular place to gather is Home Depot........and that's why I boycott Home Depot and shop at Lowes. Maybe they should do a scene where a real cop arrests the "players" and has them deported. Might make for a good comedy!

Anonymous said...

OMG -- if they are out of work -- GO BACK HOME! This is getting crazy Franco.

Mary said...

Great. Love this kind of story.

Anonymous said...

WHERE IS BACK HOME, I think people in general need to get educated. I think this is great Franco! What about a play where all anti-illegals can't deal with the economy and decide to swim back home across the ocean. Please get educated before you're labeled ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Look GRINGO we Mexicans want reperations for the land ZANTLANTA that was stole from us . New Mexico, Arizona and Texas was part of Mexico We want reperations

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Vicente Duque said...

Mr Franco Ordonez :

Thanks for Nice and Kind Blog - We see a lot of Kindness and Humanity in it.

There is a News Blackout on your topics. - I mean Newspapers, TV Networks and Radio Hysterics and Histrionics of Hate avoid your topics.


Abundance of Idiots and Ignorants, the Top Echelon of Evolution and Born Again Friends of God.

We do not visit the Websites of Idiots but they constantly visit ours and we continuously erase their Imbecility.

The Future of America is bright, but there are bastards and idiots tattooed with Swastikas.

The Future of America is bright with kind and noble people like most I know, and I am sure that they are the majority.

Before the Election of Mr Obama as President, Franck Rich, of the New York Times, said that Americans were not as Racist as portrayed by the Media and Networks like Fox News.

And that McCain, Palin et al had a strategy of persuading People that Obama was impossible as president because of Racism. So voting for Obama or the Democrats was a waste of Time.

Some Friends ask that we blog relentlessly against all these Bastard Racists of TV Networks, and Newspapers that hide the Depredations of the Minutemen, like killing children and threatening Kindergardens.

If a drunken Mexican hits someone with a car that appears for many days in triple AAA TV schedule. But if some Racist Coward Bastards kill children and threaten kindergardens, then that is not newsworthy.

The Racists in many blogs, perhaps all blogs, including this one of yours and mine, constantly write that World Opinion doesn't matter or that Africa or Latin America does not matter, or that Europe and Asia are Garbage and do not matter.

And that the "Third World" is garbage. But they are more "Third World" Rednecks and White Trash than all the slums of Africa or Latin America.

I clarify : They are perfect stupid and ignorant idiots.

And they have to visit our Latino Dignity blogs because we do not visit theirs. Why should we visit the Blogs of Imbecile Red Necks ??.

And they try to fill our Latino Blogs with their filth, dirt and imbecility !!

So let us continue informing about these Racist Scoundrels, Minutemen Cowards, that are no different from Shawna Forde and Gunny Bush killing children.

White Trash, failed lives, filled with inferiority complexes, and self inflicted shortcomings, so that they have to patrol deserts and stare at empty screens for hours in the hope of seeing something human, and ask for alms in the hope of becoming rich by preaching hate, instead of making money in Wall Street, in Industry, Commerce, Decent Work, etc ...

Or instead of being useful in "Community Organizing" like Mr Obama that reached the Highest Presidency of the World.

Meanwhile they drink the bitterest juices and liquors of anger, frustration, desperation and even poverty.

The only riches and fortune that they have is to believe that they are the Superior Race, the Mythic "Aryans", the Highest Echelon of Evolution, the Topmost in Narcissistic Beauty.

The Fat Tattooed Bastards, killers of children and coward threateners of kindergardens.

Only an idiot like them can believe that the outside World of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania, does not know of their Imbecility, Cowardice and Bastardy.

We never visit the blogs and websites of the Tattooed with Swastikas, of the idiots that believe to be owners of "Western Civilizations" and despisers of the "Third World", the most idiotic and stupid concepts in their minds and that only deserve a Big Laugh !!!

Let them, only them, alone and lonely, in perfect solitude and loneliness, eat their own shit.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the Scoundrel" - Samuel Johnson

Vicente Duque