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Department of Theatre and Dance

Dreamers, DACA, Immigrant Rights, Artivism, Activism, Social Justice

Dreaming of Our Future/Soñando de Nuestro Futuro

Dreaming of Our Future/Soñando de Nuestro Futuro (reboot)

Developed by the students at Cal State LA, this (updated) ensemble-based theatre project focuses on the plights and challenges of DACA students and immigrants against the backdrop of ICE deportations that destroy families and communities. This project weaves together personal stories, current news stories, the constantly shifting U.S. immigration policies and procedures, and a Call to Action for engagement and activism! 

Directed by Professor Tanya Kane-Parry

Performances Wed April 14 - Sat April 17, @7 pm

YouTube Streaming click HERE

Background

In 2018, I began working with Tijuana-based legal advocacy group, Al Otro Lado, in their Border Rights Project assisting desperate refugees prepare for the complex US asylum process while the former Trump administration was actively separating children from their parents. While in Tijuana, I spent four days barricaded in a self-governed refugee shelter in a standoff with Mexican federal agents attempting to illegally remove the refugees from the building and out into the dangers of the street. I am currently involved with Los Angeles-based immigrant advocacy groups Never Again Action-Los Angeles, co-founder of Alliance to Defend Im/migrants currently collaborating with CHIRLA and the Yes Immigrants Forward campaign to pressure the Biden administration to address the immigration crisis and end deportations, close the camps, reunite families and create a viable and supportive pathway to citizenship for the over 11 million undocumented members of our communities. This project fuses my teaching work in performance, artistic work and activism/advocacy work.

This production premiered in February 2020, and ran for 4 performances on campus before the pandemic shutdown and move to remote instruction.  We have adapted this project for the virtual sphere. Now that we have a new president, immigration activist organizations are actively pressuring local, state and national representatives to address the dire needs of DACA recipients, asylum seekers languishing along the border and in concentration camps, fixing the 20+ year backlog of immigration applications, and the 545+ children illegally separated from their families, still living in cages…. The Biden administration promises to address these issues, but we must keep up the visible pressure and demands. In the meantime, our students and their families, and the communities served by the CSUs across the state, and nationally, are still in great peril and under siege. 

This SOÑANDO project gives voice to our students’ lived fears, experiences and determination to push forward for justice and equality.

- Tanya Kane-Parry, Director

University Times

A call to action: The Soñando project reimagined

 

Cast and crew share what’s new


Dreaming+of+Our+Future%2F+So%C3%B1ando+de+Nuestro+Futuro+ensemble+rehearsing+for+their+virtual+performance.
 
 
 

Rosio Flores, Managing Editor

Virtually executing the production for “Dreaming of our Future/Soñando de Nuestro Futuro,” an ensemble-based theater project that sheds light on the struggles and challenges of immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, hasn’t been easy.

Equipped with kits containing ring lights, green screens, microphones and tripods, students had to “learn how to essentially get their own little TV studio in their home and then learn how to offer all the technology, and be an actor,” said Tanya Kane-Parry, a Cal State LA professor and director of the project.

The production premiered on campus before the pandemic in the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery where the actors were able to immersively interact with the audience members and be aware of their reactions. 

“We were using the way that we performed the show, to be one of the ways in which we told the story,” said Matthew Stepan, a television, film and theatre major with an acting option. “So now we’re reimagining that in terms of camera angles, and lights and locations within our homes. The way that the audience will see and experience the show via YouTube, from Zoom, [is] just as much a part of the storytelling as the actual content itself.” 

Although there have been some struggles, Stepan said that figuring out how to re-adapt and re-present this project has been a fun transformative process. 

Karla Galaviz, the open broadcaster system designer and engineer for the project, said that trying to bring the “shock” and “realization” the play is supposed to deliver onto the audience has been hard. 

“One of the beauties of this performance when we did it live, was that we got that audience interaction. And we were able to hear the audience actually reflect and be like, ‘Cool. What did I just see?’” said Galaviz. “One of the challenges of this virtually is trying to get that same reaction when we’re not actually in the same atmosphere as the audience.” 

The ensemble-based theatre project shifts focus on the racist encounters immigrants face as well as the oftentimes confusing process they go through to obtain or keep their citizenship. The struggles of DACA students are also portrayed, this all in an attempt to motivate the audience to take action. 

“We’re trying to bring awareness to this. We actually tell you where you can go [and] how to demand your representatives be pro-immigrant rights,” said Galaviz. “The audience gets informed about the importance of fixing immigration policies and how to use their voice to actually bring about change.” 

This project combines personal stories with current news stories and the constant changes to the U.S. immigration policies and procedures.  

“This play basically teaches you the system in a way that is…fun, but at the same time is serious,” said Oscar Duque Ramirez, a cast member. Ramirez is a DACA student and to him being a part of this production was “very important, especially since it’s something that relates closely to [him].”

In this year’s production, Ramirez said he acts out a powerful monologue he wrote, inspired by his personal experience. In the monologue about his experience prior to his DACA status, he recounts being scared of  immigration la migra, and feelings of being unprotected and unsupported when there was no DACA program. 

“We’re all very clear. We do not want anyone’s pity. We do not want anyone to say, ‘Oh, those poor people,’” said Kane-Parry, the director of the project. “We want them to get angry and say, ‘How can I get involved?’”

The production started live streaming from April 14 to April 17. The audience also got a chance to join the cast and designers for a post-performance discussion. The performances are also available on YouTube for those who were unable to attend it live.

 

 

 

Cast

Jocelyn Acosta

Damiona Barbosa

Amy Beltrán

AJ Chavez

Wen Chin

Dylan R. Crawford

Mitsy Cruz

Oscar Duque

Irma Gill

Lupita Pineda

Frank Ramirez

Anatalia Sanchez Vallez 

Paulyn Sreekhwan

Matthew Stepan

April Yanez

Production Team - Designers and Co-Conspirators:

Litzy Oliva Delgado....................................... Stage Manager

Karla Galaviz................................................ OBS Design/Engineer

Anthony Dunbar............................................ Cinematography

Henry Cruz................................................... Sound Design

Angelene Storey............................................ Sound Design

Arturo Vega.................................................. Costume Coordinator

Tiffany Quiroz.............................................. Costume Assistant 

Daniel Hernandez.......................................... Props Coordinator

Daniel Ordonez............................................. Props Coordinator

Jaleese Ramos............................................... Social Media / Photography

Tim Jones..................................................... Lighting/Video Shop Supervisor

Bruce Zwinge............................................... Costume Shop Supervisor

Rico Garcia.................................................. College Audio Technician

Elizabeth Pietrzak.......................................... College Technical Director

Daniel Czypinski........................................... Faculty Technical Director

Meredith Greenburg....................................... Faculty Production Manager

Special Thanks to everyone who contributed to the development and presentation of this new work:

  • Nicole Ramos, Al Otro Lado/Border Rights Project
  • Judge Frank Travieso, Los Angeles Immigration Court
  • Sarah B. Pitney, Esq., Immigration Attorney, Benach Collopy
  • Yoke Mei Lee and Timmy Chin
  • Cast and Crew of the March 2020 Public Performances
  • Dr. Mika Cho / Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery
  • José Cruz Gonzalez and students in his Community Theatre class, Spring 2019
  • Students in the Advanced Creative Workshop course who contributed to the writing and creation of this script: Naomi Chen, Dane Gbrayes, Te'Juana Johnson, Samuel Ortiz, Ashley Robles, Fall 2019
  • The Erika J. Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center
  • Imagining America Gathering
  • Bree Vallee, Coordinator for the Devised Theatre program, Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival Region 8
  • Dr. Linda Essig, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters
  • Costume Shop Supervisor Bruce Zwinge

CAST 

1st half of cast photos

Dreaming cast 2

Jocelyn Acosta (she/her/hers) is a graduating senior at Cal State LA, majoring in Theatre Arts and Dance, option in Performance. Her performance credits at Cal State LA include See What I See, Dreaming Of Our Future/Soñando De Nuestro Futuro (2020the Musical Theatre Workshop, and Strange Loops. She has also worked as assistant stage manager for the Department of Music at Cal State LA’s production of Lucinda Y Las Flores De Nochebuena. Jocelyn is also a singer and bilingual in English/Spanish. 

Damiona Barbosa (she/her) is very excited to be a part of Dreaming of Our Future. She will be graduating from Cal State LA in Fall 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre with a focus in Performance. To add dimensionality to the way she interprets scripts, Damiona also studied at Santa Monica College receiving her Associate of Arts in Film Studies, in addition to working with acting coaches at the Clay Banks Studio International. Her experience in film has translated to a role in student productions including a film commercial, Kaboom Cereal. She enjoys singing, writing, hiking, and giving back to her surrounding communities. Her upcoming projects include but are not limited to, the John Lion New Plays Festival as an actor and director for two separate plays. To stay connected with Damiona, feel free to follow her on social media @damionabarbosa.

Amy Beltrán is from East Los Angeles, CA. Theatre credits: Real Women Have Curves (Pancha); Dog Sees God (CB’a Sister); Charlotte's Web (Edith Zuckerman); The Tenth Muse (Juana Enez De La Cruz); The Wolves (#14); Native Gardens (Tania DelValle); Fantastic Mr. Fox (Mrs. Fox); The Curious Incident of The Dog of The Night-Time (Ensemble); The Medéa Complex (Medéa); El Arroyo (Julita).  She’s thrilled to be on the virtual stage again working on a production that speaks volumes to the reality of life in the U.S. for many, “a true privilege”. 

AJ Chavez (She/They), is from East Los Angeles, and currently a Sophomore undergraduate Theater Major with their emphasis in Performance at Cal State LA. They are very excited to be a part of the spring virtual production of Dreaming of Our Future. With previous roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Francis Flute); Our Town (Dr. Gibbs); Once on this Island (Awgé); A Christmas Carol (Ebenezer Scrooge); and Macbeth (Weird Sister #3). When they are not performing, AJ can be found drawing, painting, or singing old choral pieces for fun.  

Wen Chin (he/him) is a Sophomore at Cal State LA majoring in Theatre with an option in Performance. Wen is honored to be one of the actors in this production. As a Freshman, he was part of the original Dreaming of our Future cast in February 2020, his first performance at Cal State LA. Wen grew up in Malaysia and has dreamt of being an actor ever since the age of 10. In Malaysia, Wen took part in an English Drama Competition during the 8th grade and performed as The Fairy God “Father” in the play, Cinderella in 2014. He won the “Best Actor Award” in that competition which sparked his passion in pursing his dream of becoming an actor. He came to the United States in 2018 to pursue that dream and soon began his Theatre degree at Cal State LA. Wen feels lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a professional actor in the United States. 

Dylan R. Crawford (he/they) is overjoyed to start his first production at Cal State LA. He transferred from College of the Canyons (COC) this semester, joining as a junior in the Theatre program, trying to finish his Bachelor’s degree in performing arts. All of his prior roles, including Ariste in Learned Ladies and the Doctor in Woyzeck, were at COC. He was also an actor in the COC Forensics Team, and even won gold in the prose category of the 2019 Phi Rho Pi National Championships. He is also honing his skills as a writer, both for the stage and the screen. Finally, he wants to thank his parents for putting a roof over his head and his friends for helping him through the rough patches. 

Mitsy Cruz (They/Their) is a Sophomore student at California State University, Los Angeles whose major is in Theatre with an emphasis on Performance and a Minor in Music. Mitsy was in the production of Dreaming of our Future in Spring 2020. Mitsy received many awards and achievements during their school years, including awards of improvements and/or hardworking students. Another special recognition they received was to be called and cast in this production Dreaming of our Future, this was the most honorable recognition they ever received due to their acting skills that were noticed. One of Mitsy’s talents besides acting is a passion for music - playing the guitar, the electric bass, and singing. Another talent is that they are proud of is learning a third language which is Mandarin, besides Spanish and English. Mitsy was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and competed in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Spring 2020, in recognition for their acting skills in their 1st production, Dreaming of our Future. During the primarily round, Mitsy received important feedback regarding their singing skills, they were told that their vocals were very emotional, and impacted the judges. Mitsy has very energetic energy to do a lot of crazy things, they understand Viewpoints, and are also comfortable doing emotional situations too. Mitsy has a hobby where they post their art, you can connect to them @/charlycharlo_ on Instagram.   

Irma Gill is a first-year graduate student in the MFA program for Television, Film, and Theatre - Acting Option at Cal State LA. Irma is an actor, playwright, and director who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts and Dance Studies from Humboldt State University in May 2019. This is Irma’s second production with Cal State LA. Favorite roles on stage include Rosali in Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez and Vanessa in Adoration of the Old Woman by Jose Rivera. After completing her undergraduate degree, Irma moved to the rainy city of Portland, Oregon where she did freelance, worked as an extra, and as a stand-in for Netflix’s Trinkets and TBS’ Chad. But she gave up her work as a stand-in to pursue her MFA degree as she works on her goal of one day becoming an acting professor.  

Lupita Pineda (she/her) is a theatre major. This is her first show at Cal State LA and her first virtual show ever. She will be graduating this Spring with her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with the option in Performance. Besides acting, Lupita loves to sing, write, and play the ukulele. Lupita has been performing since she was 13, participating in dance shows, choir concerts, open mic nights, and short films. You can keep up with her actress adventures on Instagram: @lupitapinedaofficial_

Frank Ramirez is a first year MFA Television, Film, and Theatre (acting option) candidate.  Dreaming of our Future is Frank’s second production at Cal State LA.  Last fall, Frank earned an Irene Ryan Scholarship nomination for his performance in War of the Worlds; winning the district festival he will be moving forward to the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival final round for acting.  Frank has also appeared in many productions throughout Southern California, including world premiere productions of Narcisse by Neil H. Weiss, and La Lista Negra by Tatiana Estefania Leiva.  In April, Frank will perform in several staged readings in the John Lion New Plays Festival. 

Anatalia Sanchez Vallez (She/Hers/Ella) is a first-year MFA  candidate in Television, Film and Theatre (acting option) at Cal State LA. Dreaming of Our Future is Anatalia’s second production at Cal State LA following her appearance as Rachel in War of the Worlds which earned her a nomination for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition. She is an ensemble member of Playback LA and Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble in Orange County, California. Besides acting, Anatalia is a community activist and writer addressing everything from migration, machismo, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Her first book of poetry: The Most Spectacular Mistake was published last year by FlowerSong Press. Anatalia’s upcoming performances include original play readings written by fellow Cal State LA peers this April and May in the 2021 John Lion New Plays Festival. Find more about her work at https://anataliavallez.com/.  

Paulyn Sreekhwan (she/her) is currently a freshman in the Biology program but will be pursuing a major in Theatre beginning next year. She is very excited to make her acting debut in Cal State LA’s production of Dreaming of Our Future. Fluent in Thai and English, Paulyn enjoys spending her time doing covers and playing the guitar.  

Matt Stepan (He/Him) is a third-year candidate for the MFA in Television, Film and Theatre/Acting Option preparing to graduate this May. Matt has previously appeared in Cal State LA productions including Strange Loops, She Kills Monsters, The Minutes, Sudden Death Viewpoints, Dreaming of Our Future (2020), and his MFA culminating project: Another F-Word. Prior to his graduate training at Cal State LA, Matt earned a BFA in Theatre – Acting/Directing Emphasis at Sam Houston State University, and performed and directed professional, community, and educational productions across his home state of Texas. Matt holds a Basic Pass in three stage combat weapons with the Society of American Fight Directors and looks forward to continuing his stage combat training after the pandemic has abated. Matt was recently honored to be invited to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 8 Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions, in recognition of his work on Dreaming (2020) and Another F-Word. Later this semester, Matt will appear as Jerry in the upcoming reading of Welcome to Hell by Nicole Noa – part of Cal State LA’s John Lion New Plays Festival. In addition to his work as a performer, Matt is a Teaching Associate in the Department of Theatre & Dance. Please visit him online at http://www.actormattstepan.com and follow @actormattstepan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

April Yanez (she/her/hers) is excited to be making her acting debut in Dreaming of Our Future. She is a senior at Cal State Los Angeles who is pursuing a major in Theatre with an option in Performance and plans to graduate this coming Fall. April is bilingual in both Spanish and English and when she is not taking part in small voice acting projects, she enjoys spending her time playing the piano and guitar.

Hello, my name is Tiffany Quiroz and I go by ‘They’ or ‘She’. I am a Theatre Production Major with a focus in Costume and Design. I am currently a fourth year Cal State LA student. When the spring semester of 2021 comes to an end, I will have finished my second year in the Theatre department. The first production I worked on was Bloodless (Spring of 2020), by Nicholas Walker Herbert and directed by Stephen Rothman before the lockdown happened. I was part of the wardrobe crew for this show. The whole cast and crew were lucky enough to be able to perform a couple of shows, live, before it was streamed online. This production was a fun learning experience for me. Along with Theatre, I have also taken a couple of Dance courses in Cal State LA because ever since I was small I have loved to dance. I took a full year of Contemporary dance (2018 - 2019) along with a fun K-pop dance course (2020), and just last fall of 2020, I took a Ballet course as well. I have always loved the arts. I enjoy my freetime playing the electronic piano I have at home, as well as drawing on my sketchpad.  I have been learning and enjoying myself so far and I hope to continue on successfully with my artistic journey.

Angelene Storey (she/her) is a senior at Cal State LA, majoring in Theatre Arts and Dance, option in Design and Production. Angelene has worked professionally as a scenic painter, prop designer, and assistant scenic designer. She designed her first show, The Taming of the Shrew, in spring of 2019 at East Los Angeles College. Additionally, she is an accomplished singer and performer who is currently in the process of recording a jazz album. Angelene is looking forward to continuing to develop her theatre career after graduation this semester. She is also working as the prop designer for the Los Angeles Music and Art School's production of Playmaking, opening next month.Website: http://angelenestorey.weebly.com/ IG: a_storey_designs.

Tanya Kane-Parry (Director) Director/choreographer in theatre, opera and dance. Artistic Director of Opera del Espacio.Credits include: I’ve Fallen/Clap Off! at Highways Performance Space; The Way Of Water at Cal State LA, Bootleg Theatre, Cal Poly Pomona, Hollywood Fringe and South Coast Rep’s SCRamble; Meet Me @ Metro II and III Space: The Final Frontier presented at SOSE Company Creation Festival; Private in Public  at SoCal Dance Invitational Concert and World Dance Alliance-Americas in Honolulu; Triple [Inter]sect dance concert at Highways Performance Space; multiple site-specific performances - desert ruins at Llano del Rio, Downtown Art Walk, Brewery Art Walk, Echo Park Art Walk, The Series at the Standard. Additional credits include productions at Long Beach Opera, LA Phil, Festival Opera, Opera Omaha, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Liceo Opera (Barcelona), National Opera of Bordeaux and Angels Vocal Arts. Full-time faculty, Department of Theatre and Dance, Cal State LA (since 2001). Lived and worked in Spain, France, the former Soviet Union, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Japan. Fluent in Spanish and French and conversational in Russian.

 


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