The Lumberjack student newspaper
Alejandro Torres as Francisco, Wendy Carranza as Ximena and Victor Parra as Mateo embrace during the final rehearsal of "Dreamers: Aquí y Allá" in Gist Hall Theatre. | Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas.

Dreams in Between

Cast and crew of "Dreamers: Aquí y Allá" shed light on complexities of immigration

Cast and crew of “Dreamers: Aquí y Allá” shed light on complexities of immigration

The story starts in the blue and red lights that bathe a replica-sized model of a wall. Not just any wall, but The Wall, the most southern one that separates country from country, family from family and the hopes of migrants for better opportunities and life.

In that obscurity, bodies shift and take steps until they’re center stage and in full view. They face you, you face them and under the spotlight, the stories of immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients begins.

“Some of these scenes will break your heart because they show so much humanity,” Co-Director Andrea Carrillo said. “Humanity is such a great big theme within this story. You can’t help but connect and feel compassion for these individuals.”

The Humboldt State University Theater Arts, Film and Dance Department presents “Dreamers: Aquí y Allá.” The script was written by Andrea Caban, her students, and a collaboration from source material provided by Armando Vazquez-Ramos and the California-Mexican Studies Center.

Students in the California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program, DACA recipients and immigrant community members gave testimonials and interviews for the script.

Troy Lescher, co-director and HSU associate professor, came upon the script in spring 2018 when Caban emailed the script to all 18 California State Universities in hopes they would produce the show.

“I was blown away by the humanity of the story,” Lescher said. “As soon as I read it I said to myself, ‘We have to do this show at HSU.’ I mean, because of our social justice mission, commitment to minority voices on stage, how timely this issue is and this play had HSU written all over it.”

The play follows the memories and lived experiences of immigrants and DACA recipients who then obtained advance parole, which gave them opportunity to travel to Mexico and reconnect with their culture and families.

Carrillo said that they go through time jumps and include the audience as they break the fourth wall in various scenes from start to finish.

However, circumstances prevented the play from happening until fall 2019. Lescher reached out to theater arts graduate students Carrillo and Amy Beltrán via email. They said that they were overjoyed about directing the play.

“For me the biggest thing was to evoke empathy within the community because a lot of the community, as well as in Humboldt County, can be either on the middle ground or can be very conservative,” Carillo said. “These are human beings with their own experiences, their own love, their own families, and that was a big thing for me to show that to them.”

But just as the directors were compelled to tell this story, so too were the actors.

Business marketing major and theater arts minor Victor Parra, who plays Mateo, said he knew it was important for him to get involved when he heard about the script.

“As an actor and artist this is the kind of stuff that catches my attention,” Parra said. “This is the kind of work that I want to do personally.”

Parra said it’s important to remember that the play is a cumulation of many stories, real stories, and that these are real people who struggle everyday. These were stories close to him because he experienced similar struggles back home.

“We have to keep working to give spaces for minority voices to be heard, especially voices that aren’t heard very often.”

Troy Lescher

“I brought a lot of personal past into this and it was my own decision,” Parra said. “Nobody asked it of me, but because I relate to this.”

Parra plays Mateo, who in the play fears being deported and leaving his child and mother behind. He said that is what happened to him when one of his parents was deported not too long ago, and he brought those feelings into the production.

“I envision my own family,” Parra said. “That’s what I just had to bring to the table because it’s so important. We need to say this. We need for our voices to be heard and something needs to happen.”

Lescher knew that he wanted to encourage and open the production to more students, so he reached out to El Centro Académico Cultural Coordinator Fernando Paz, Interim Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Edelmira Reynoso and Multicultural Center Coordinator Frank Herrera.

The result was that out of 11 cast members, six of them were non-theater majors and four of them performed for the first time.

“This story hits differently,” Carrillo said. “It resonates differently with people. It’s such an immediate connection with a lot of Latinx people and people of color. It made sense that we had so many new faces in the theater.”

Lescher said that the challenges DACA recipients struggle with is a big part of the conversation, because their voices are often unheard or aren’t highlighted in the news.

“We have to keep working to give spaces for minority voices to be heard, especially voices that aren’t heard very often,” Lescher said.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination