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  • A.E. Santana

Workshops with East Valley Repertory Theatre Company

I am honored to be part of East Valley Repertory, a new theatre company in the Coachella Valley based from the Coachella Valley Art Center. As its first event East Valley Rep will be presenting a ten-minute play festival entitled "Tacos, Teardrops, and Tequila" with each play focusing on issues such as domestic violence, immigration, LGBT, self-harm, and other "silent issues" in the bi-cultural world of Hispanic/Latinos living in the United States. As one of the founding playwrights, it's exciting to convene with other writers, directors, and actors for a multi-cultural theatrical group. Together we work-shopped our plays; giving positive feedback and constructive criticism that helped flesh out our stories for the stage.

A stage at the Coachella Valley Art Center

I feel that that this opportunity was serendipitous. I had been searching for a community of writers and I found it in East Valley Rep. I spotted an ad in the paper for a call for playwrights. As much as I love telling stories, I can be shy and often don't take risks. I've learned that sometimes, what we see as not taking a risk is actually not taking an opportunity. So, I emailed the director of the group and asked about guidelines and general information. I submitted my play and figured that if I didn't get an email back there was no harm in trying.

But I did get an email back. I was so pleased and excited, but wasn't sure what to expect. I had written scripts before. I had been in the Drama Club in high school, but this was an experience with a true, independent theater company. The other writers, the director, and myself assembled together for three Saturdays to discuss our works in depth.

My one act play "Fairy Godmother" is about a Mexican-American woman, who speaks no Spanish, who finds a young Mexican girl lost in the desert. The woman rescues the girl and subsequently takes her into town to a taco shop in hope of finding someone who can translate for them. The situation is put in danger when a border patrol officer, looking for the girl, shows up. The woman and the owner of the taco shop must decide what they think the right thing to do is: Give the girl to the officer or continue on the search for the girl’s family in America.

Everyone involved including writers, directors, and actors brought their talents and insight to each of the workshops. I learned about their goals, experience, and styles as artists, but I also learned more about my own talents working with them. It was a joy to work with everyone. The experience helped me to look at my writing, not only as an author, but also as a director and the audience.

I want to thank everyone involved and I look forward to seeing our stories come to life on stage!

I was excited to see that there were cats in the studio.

Sal, one of the resident cats at the Cochella Valley Art Center.

Sal, one of the resident cats at the Coachella Valley Art Center.

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