Since January, the Alley has provided schools and community groups the opportunity to tell their own compelling stories through 8-10 week residencies of the Alley’s First Draft Personal Narrative curriculum. From the beginning to the end, students and community members write, revise, and eventually perform their own personal narratives. During the 2017-18 inaugural year of the El Zócalo initiative participants marveled at how simple theatre activities and writing prompts inspired their writing, and how sharing stories created deeper community connections and celebrated our local heritage.
In this curated story event, students, families, and organizations will present their First Draft stories along with local Latinx artistic participants. Storytellers range in age from 6th graders to Senior Citizens, representing East Early College High School, Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success (RYSS), Ortiz Middle School and Stevenson Middle School, The Nehemiah Center, University of Houston-Downtown, and Community Family Centers. Select performers will include Performance Artists, Jordi Viscarri and Marissa Castillo; Musician/Singer, Martha Sanchez; Comedian, Jerry Carrillo; and Poets, Cristina Martinez and Lupe Mendez amongst many others.
All stories, performances, and works of art will explore the universal themes addressed in Hilary Bettis’s new play 72 Miles to Go…. presented during Alley Theatre’s All New Festival, January 19-26, 2019. These themes include: The American Dream: DACA and Dreamers, American Sanctuary: Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Life at the Border, Disenfranchisement and Marginalization of Immigrants, Deportation and Family Separation Impact on Communities, Familism – Sacrificing for the sake of family, Identity Struggles for Latin Americans, and The Ethics of Immigration: Moral vs Legal Obligations.