Learn More Before You See The Show:
"blu" by Virginia Grise
Written by Edyka Chilomé
Cara Mía Theatre Co.'s upcoming production of blu by Virginia Grise uses epic poetry to explore multiple themes that reflect the current realities of may Xican@/Latinx families. Professor, Poet and blu actress Edyka Chilomé discusses these subjects in this edition of the 'Behind The Scenes' Newsletter. *
IDENTITY IN ATZLAN
Maya Quetzali Gonzalez as Gemini in blu by Virginia Grise
Photo Credit: Linda Blase
However, recent studies show that majority of Mexicans, contain far more Native American ancestry than what many northern tribes require to be federally recognized as a Native American in the U.S. In the play blu, we watch as characters attempt to sift through the fragmentations of their indigenous identities and culture as well as its continued presence in barrio realities. Hailstorm, a queer spiritually conscious Xicana offers ancient Mexica stories to the women in her family who continue to look desperately to the earth, the sky, and the moon "with broken memories and broken prayers".
INCARCERATION, WAR, AND THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE
|Edwin Aguilar as Lunatico in blu by Virginia GrisePhoto Credit: Linda Blase|
In blu, we watch as Lunatico is profiled as a gang member and arrested for having a blue marker at school, highlighting the ways that failing public schools function as a pipeline to prison for xican@ children in the hood. Prioritizing strict disciplinary practices and policies over the quality of relevant education serves to expose and acculturate young children to harsh prison like environments. This process grooms them to be easy fill ins for profit prison system or vulnerable recruits for the front lines in the military. If you were 12 years old and your neighborhood, family, school, and people were constantly vilified and over criminalized by authority figures, media, and politics with no other positive representations or cultural references, might you grow up to glorify a life of violence and crime? Might you consider trying to be something you're not? Would you leave to join the military and face death in hopes of getting away from chronic violence for the rest of your life?
GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE HOOD
Within a context where masculinity and violence are a way of life and survival, women are often forced to embody masculinity themselves or become the victims of circumstances inside and outside of the home. As blu explores the historical intersections of systemic and interpersonal violence a midst Xican@'s in the hood, we see the women of blu struggling with domestic abuse, rape, violent encounters with the medical system, and fighting against hyper heterosexist masculinity.
Edyka Chilomé as Hailstorm & Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso as Soledad in blu by Virginia Grise
Photo Credit: Linda Blase
Current statistics show that 1 in every 3 women are survivors of sexual or intimate partner abuse in the U.S. More specifically, the rates of domestic and medical violence among poor "Latina" and or Native American women are highly disproportionate to their White counter parts. Moreover, the discrimination and prejudices against queer women of color are, as blu portrays, fought on multiple fronts. Violently rejected by her growing sons for her choice to partner with a woman, and attempt to distance herself from her abuser, Soledad and her daughter Gemini struggle to find peace and connect with the healing feminine energies present in their ancestral stories and the earth.
TELLING THE STORY
As stated by Virginia Grise's character Hailstorm, the story of blu is a story of "a people displaced searching for traces of what must use to be... Searching for a time before war". It is the story of many Xican@/Latinx families that have lived and continue to live the reality of militarized hood warfare. Many of us in the cast have had the privilege of breaking some of these cycles in our own lives by having our families or ourselves move up the cultural and or socio economic class latter. However, some of us are still attempting to collect the fragmented pieces of our identities and heal from forced forms of assimilation, violence and erasure. Telling this story has been part of the recollecting and reconsidering in our own lives as we hope it might be for those who watch it.
COME SEE THE SHOW!
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak Street | Dallas, Texas 75204
(Free Talk Back after the show)
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*For more information on how to be added to Cara Mia's "Behind the Scenes" newsletter visit Caramiatheater.com