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¿De Dónde?

¿De Dónde?
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Mary Gallagher
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 97
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0822202956
ISBN-13: 9780822202950
Cast Size: 5 women, 8 men (flexible casting)

About the Play:

¿De Donde? is a full-length drama by Mary Gallagher. 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 undocumented immigrants fleeing poverty and oppression in Central America – only to encounter new tests and bureaucratic rigidity on the U.S. side of the border. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

De Donde?freely translated from Spanish as "Where are you from?" – are among the first words undocumented immigrants hear at the U.S. border as they run for their lives from repressive Central and South American regimes. Seeking asylum and freedom from persecution, the refugees are, more often than not, met with indifference and even hostility when caught by the U.S. border patrol, 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: dedicated but hopelessly overworked and increasingly cynical legal aides and lawyers who try to win amnesty for them; a small band 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, De Donde? also becomes, in the end, a searing indictment of U.S. immigration policies and a disturbing reminder of the terrible toll which these can exact, whether intentionally or not.

¿De Donde? premiered in 1990 at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where it won Rosenthal New Play Prize and was nominated for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed by high school, colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 5 women, 8 men, more Latinos than Anglos, most play multiple roles (flexible casting)

What people say:

"…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." — New York Times

"Gallagher ... is a playwright of skill and sensitivity and ... she is able to give human meaning to the legal proceedings and political expediencies that she demonstrates … by keeping the action tight, fast and varied, it does not bog down in angry preaching." — Chicago Tribune

About the Playwright:

Mary Gallagher is an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, actress, director and teacher. From 2001-2010 she taught playwriting, screenwriting, and film story analysis in the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. She also taught playwriting and screenwriting at Goddard College, and sometimes teaches private classes and coaches or edits individual projects. She has written screenplays for Paramount, MGM, HBO, NBC, CBS, Lifetime and Showtime.

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