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For the Expand Upon series of staged readings, Mirror Stage commissions two local playwrights to each develop a short play responding to a community-selected theme, using the same multi- generational, multi-racial cast. For the third round of Expand Upon, the community selected the theme Immigration, and Mirror Stage commissioned The Seas of Forgotten Encounters by Sophie Franco and BeaverTown by Celeste Mari Williams. Directed by Suzanne M. Cohen, Expand Upon: IMMIGRATION features John Bianchi, Michael D. Blum, Marquicia Dominguez, Eva Estrada Campos, Shahbaz Khan, Duygu Erdoğan Monson, and Mika Swanson. There will be a moderated discussion following every performance.
Immigration is the transnational movement of people into a destination country where they are not natives or do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there—especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens—or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker. Research has found extensive evidence of discrimination against foreign born and minority populations in criminal justice, business, the economy, housing, health care, media and politics in the United States and Europe.
Dr. Alina R. Méndez will present FREE pre-show lectures on Immigration in the US on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, April 14 at 1:00pm. Alina R. Méndez is Assistant Professor in the American Ethnic Studies department at the University of Washington, Seattle. She specializes in Mexican American history with a focus on migration, labor, and relational racial formation. Dr. Méndez received her PhD in US History from the University of California, San Diego and BA in Latin American History from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently revising her dissertation into a book manuscript titled Cheap for Whom? Migration, Farm Labor, and Social Reproduction in the Imperial Valley-Mexicali Borderlands, 1942-1969. Her research has received support from the Ford Foundation, the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, the Fulbright Program, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, and the Archie Green Fund for Labor Culture and History.
Theatre That Gets People Talking, Mirror Stage’s innovative staged reading series have been engaging the community in examining and discussing topical issues from different perspectives since 2004. Presented without costumes or sets, the emphasis on the text encourages audiences to create their own imagined world inhabited by the play’s characters, increasing empathy and expanding awareness. Following every performance, a moderated discussion with the audience and artists explores the issues raised in more depth.
Mirror Stage gratefully acknowledges the support
of the Posner-Wallace Foundation and the Puffin Foundation West.
Sophie Franco is a Latinx actor/director/playwright working in the Seattle area. As an artist activist, Sophie prioritizes centralizing the narratives of people of color, the LGBTQIA community, and other marginalized folx. Recent credits include Tania in Native Gardens (Intiman Theatre) Viola in a English/Spanish bilingual production of Twelfth Night (Seattle Shakespeare Company), and Elena in Las Mariposas y Los Muertos (Forward Flux Productions). Other companies Sophie has worked with include: ACTLab, eSe Teatro, The Horse in Motion, and the Seattle Fringe Festival. Last fall, she adapted and directed Book-It’s The Upside Boy, an Educational Tour seen by over 15,000 students across Washington state. In addition, Sophie is an ensemble member with Washington Ensemble Theater.
Celeste Mari Williams is a local playwright who has worked with SIS Productions as part of Revealed, Insatiable, LAAFF, and Represent; Pork Filled Productions as part of UNLEASHED with a staged reading of My Samurai. Celeste is also an associate playwright with Parley with produced workshops of Amelia’s Wall, A Fine Line, and Best Friend. She is excited about her recent workshop, GILLS! GILLS! GILLS!, a suite of short plays about sea creatures and mating. Celeste is looking forward to the educational and creative process of working with Mirror Stage.