The Road Theatre Company presents “Nowhere on the Border,” written by Carlos Lacamara and directed by Stewart J. Zully.
Running January 17 through March 8, Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm
The Road Theatre, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601
The brilliant creative team of Taylor Gilbert, founder/artistic director and Sam Anderson, artistic director of The Road Theatre, choose their plays with conscience and care, and a great deal of humanity.
This new play, written by Carlos Lacamara, an actor with decades of work behind him, is especially poignant, visceral and woefully far too relevant.
Leandro Cano and Natalie Llerena
Set quite literally somewhere on the border between Mexico and the United States, the play centers around two stories – a man in search of his daughter who is lost and a daughter desperate to reunite with her husband, both willing to risk their lives.
The play is told in the present and also in the past. We begin with the father, waiting in the desert. He is discovered by a volunteer border patroller. One of those men who leave their average lives in some average town far away to patrol the border with Mexico. Armed and prepared to fight, they accost whomever they find and hold them until the real border patrol arrives. On this day, this particular volunteer finds a man waiting with a body just a few days dead, its pieces scattered by vultures or coyotes. He will not leave her until the border patrol that he himself has called has collected her. Only doing what he thinks is right, what he says he would want any other man to do for his own daughter, who he still searches for.
Leandro Cano, Diana DeLaCruz and Natalie Llerena
Over the hours it takes for the patrol to arrive, while the volunteer who at first cuffs the man while calling for back up, the two find a connection. The father is kinder to the patroller than most of us would ever be, but he has his own reasons. They banter, they reach understandings and as the hours pass, each waiting for their own resolution, the audience begins to see them both as far more similar than not.
We also follow the story of his daughter and why she risks so much to reach her husband who is working “in the north.” We travel with her on the treacherous journey through the desert, with a drug addled coyote and another migrant, a much stronger man who is also desperate to work, having lost his ranch to corruption and bad luck and leaves a wife and small child behind.
Natalie Llerena and Jonathan Nichols
These are such sad stories, but they have been so beautifully written by Mr Lacamara. Each character is crafted with truth and grace and fierce unflinching empathy that the sorrow they are filled with is somehow bearable. We all know this happens. We read about it, or see it on the news, our screens thankfully separate us from the grim reality of what are journeys no one longs for and endings often sadly beyond our comprehension. There’s a particular monologue in this play when one of the migrants talks about what his life is like and why he must leave it to find something, anything better. You could hear a pin drop, there was a collective suspension of breath in the theatre so perfect were the words spoken, with simplicity and a total lack of theatricality so that they reached deep, deep within, truly unforgettable.
The force of his words and every truth spoken in this play is truly unforgettable.
Chet Grissom and Jonathan Nichols
The performances are spectacular, each actor subtly and yet still forcibly touching minds and hearts at every turn. Reminding us all that we are all of us the same, all of us needing love and safety and a sense of purpose. This play is gorgeously constructed, with pathos and wit and style. The direction is light enough for these stellar actors to find themselves in their parts and bold enough to support the very big themes the play contains.
It’s important that we talk about what really happens in our world. The theatre is a place where stories such as these can touch us and show us and change us in ways that images on the news cannot.
Let’s hope we remember these people we spent an evening with and that the change in us is permanent and lasting and forces a change in the world around us.
Chet Grissom, Jonathan Nichols, Natalie Llerena, Leandro Cano, Diana DeLaCruz, Thom Rivera and Mackenzie Redvers Bryce.
The Design Team for “Nowhere on the Border” is as follows: Scenic Design by Paul Dufresne; Lighting Design by Derrick McDaniel; Projection Design by Nicholas Santiago; Sound Design by David B. Marling; Costume Design by Mary Jane Miller; Properties Design by Christine Joëlle and Megan Moran; Fight Choreography by Bjørn Johnson. The Production Stage Manager is Maurie Gonzalez. “Nowhere on the Border” is produced by Ray Paolantonio and Brian M. Cole.