Review: ‘Dreamers; Aquí y Allá’

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Review: ‘Dreamers; Aquí y Allá’

Cecilia Torres

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CSU Bakersfield’s production of Dreamers; Aquí y Allá on Thursday, Oct. 25 was an eye-opening experience that everyone should have, that everyone needs to have.

The 75-minute long play does an excellent job at showing people everything that gets lost in the politics of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as DACA.

The original play written by Andrea Caban was first in production at CSU Long Beach. It was a collaboration between Caban and students as well as material provided by Professor Armando Vazquez-Ramos and the California-Mexico Studies Center, according to Caban’s website.

With DACA being such a sensitive topic right now, bringing this production to CSUB was important.

First year graduate student Belinda Hess, who attended the CSULB production of Dreamers said, “We pushed for them to bring the play here to Cal State [Bakersfield]. In fact, hey were already thinking about it and then we came back from seeing it and told them how great it was and so they decided on it. We were really happy.”

The play is just as much about politics as it is about the people – who they are, and what they must live with every day because they are undocumented.

According to the event’s program, there are currently 328 identified Dreamers attending CSUB this fall semester, making the ongoing debate about Dreamers in America a lot more personal.

“[Dreamers] is about some of the struggles that students who are currently under the DACA program face,” said Dominic Caccamese a junior history major. “It’s relevant to me in the sense that it is my fellow schoolmates.”

One message that kept coming back was that Dreamers could be anybody. They could be our neighbors, doctors, classmates, teachers and friends.

There were many scenes where the actors were merely silhouettes in the background. This method adds to the universality of the piece because the characters being shadows is symbolic of how many people are in the same situation. It does not apply to just one person, so you can’t have just one face trying to represent everyone. Maybe DACA recipients in the audience saw a variation of their own story play out on stage.

The actors carry this play. They don’t rely on props, set design, costumes or music. All of that was minimal so the focus was really on the acting.

“The students, the actors did an excellent job, every one of them,” said Hess. “When the girl was saying she was going to get her DACA papers and then her dad tells her she can’t, and she drops her backpack really hard. I could feel her frustration, it was so awful.”

Dreamers was just as much entertainment as it was educational and informative.

“I’m more educated about the topic as a whole,” said Caccamese. “I was kind of just ignorant to the whole situation.”

The play was a very creative way of illustrating the different points of view people have about DACA recipients.

“Anybody who is even curious about what the debate is, this would bring a lot of light to it and I think everyone should see it if they are interested in immigration at all,” said Hess.

CSUB theatrefest presented “Dreamers: Aqui y Alla” in the Dore Theatre from Thursday, October 25 through Sunday, October 28, 2018.