To celebrate World Language and Cultures week, BSM’s Hamburge Theater hosted a short production from the Teatro Del Pueblo theater company. The St. Paul based theater company celebrates Latino culture by writing and performing original plays at home and around the country.
The acting troupe was invited to perform by Spanish teacher Ms. Mary Windsor, who was introduced to Teatro Del Pueblo at a leadership workshop where the company was performing one of their original performances. “It touched on themes of diversity…It was very thought provoking,” said Windsor.
When the World Language Department started looking for cultural activities for diversity week, Ms. Windsor immediately thought of the troupe. “It was the first thing that came to mind,” said Windsor.
The performance, entitled “Help Wanted,” was performed by three individuals and chronicled the journey of two Mexican women who illegally cross the American border in search of work.
The play also points out the cruelties illegal immigrants face as part of the American workforce and the legal technicalities that the two women must overcome.
What makes this performance truly remarkable is that it is closely based on true events that took place in Minnesota to two immigrants.
To write the play, Teatro Del Pueblo interviewed the two women that went through the legal process of obtaining a working permit, but were ultimately deported. “A lot of words we use come out of their mouths,” said Joy Chavarria, one of the actresses who performed for BSM.
This company has traveled across the Midwest performing at various events and colleges trying to spread their message: illegal immigrants often do what they do out of necessity and should not be treated with any less respect than other workers. “We want people to know that this happens because [people] aren’t aware of it…people need to understand why people do things,” said Chavarria.
Windsor and other teachers believe the play accomplished precisely what they had hoped for by making students step out of their comfort zone and think. “Some students found themselves extremely challenged, and with others it really resonated,” said Windsor.