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I Come from Arizona
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  • Info
  • Cast
  • Creative Team
  • Calendar
  • Performance Description
  • Plot Synopsis
  • Content Advisories

An adaptation of Augusta and Noble
Written by Carlos Murillo
Directed by Lisa Portes
For receptive 8-year-olds and up
Runs approximately two hours, including one 15-minute intermission

A Children’s Theatre Company World Premiere Production

Gabi Castillo, a bright, 14-year-old Mexican-American girl living on the South Side of Chicago, is accepted into a very different, elite high school. Through her Global Perspectives class, she learns secrets about her past and her parents, discovers her own inherited strength, and begins to understand what it means to take risks. In today’s world of immigration raids and Dreamers, fear and uncertainty, Gabi inspires a modern-day lesson in bravery, courage, and finding power in what seems like a powerless situation.

Join us following select performances of I Come From Arizona for talkbacks with community leaders!

Saturday, October 20, after the 2pm performance | Panelists: Michele Garnett McKenzie, Deputy Director, The Advocates for Human Rights: Rudolfo Gutierrez, External Consultant to the Executive Director, HACER (Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research); Jose Gonzalez, Executive Director, LatinoLEAD; Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL, District 63); John Keller, Esq., Executive Director, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sunday, October 21, after the 5pm performance | Speaker: Sarah Brenes, Program Director, Refugee & Immigrant Program, The Advocates for Human Rights

Saturday, October 27, after the 5pm performance | Speaker: Madeline Lohman, Senior Researcher, The Advocates for Human Rights

Ricardo Vázquez
Ricardo Vázquez | Reymundo, Ragged Looking Man, Ice Man
Ricardo is excited to return to CTC after The Last Firefly. He has performed with Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, History Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, HERE Center for the Arts in New York, and MOMA. Television: ABC’s In an Instant, Evine Network, M@dabout TV! Film: Nina of the Woods; The Public Domain; Death to Prom. Awards: 2018 MSAB Artists Initiative Grant, 2013 Emerging Artist Ivey Award, 2012 – 2013 Jerome Many Voices Fellowship.
Nora Montañez
Nora Montañez | Dolores, Yadira
Nora is thrilled to be back at CTC, where she was last seen in Pippi Longstocking. She has performed with several Twin Cities theatre companies, including Jungle Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Theatre Mu, and Guthrie Theater. Nora is also the Founder/Artistic Director of the Alliance of Latinx Minnesota Artists, a 2018 MRAC Next Step Award recipient, and holds a B.F.A. from Florida Atlantic University.
Ayssette Muñoz
Ayssette Muñoz | Gabi
Ayssette is a Mexican-American actress based in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune featured her as a “Hot New Face of Chicago Theatre” in 2015. Credits: Chicago PD (NBC); The Wolf at the End of the Block; View From the Bridge (Teatro Vista); The Doppelgänger (an international farce) (Steppenwolf Theatre); Ah, Wilderness! (Goodman Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Plantation! (Lookingglass Theatre Company).
Luca La Hoz Calassara
Luca La Hoz Calassara | Jesús
This is Luca’s first appearance at CTC, and he’s proud and excited! He’s been part of Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera, appearing in their production of Odyssey, and also in Minnesota Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Luca is also in his 5th year with Twin Cities Youth Chorale and he’s preparing for their December concert, Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Madison Neal
Madison Neal | Fiona
Madison is thrilled to join this production. Recent performances include Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas!; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical (Children’s Theatre Company); Philemon and Baucis — Planet in Peril (Mixed Precipitation); Spring Awakening (Contra Theatre Company); Seussical (Ashland Productions); and Fidgety Fairy Tales (Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health). She is in Institute (class of 2020), a four-year pre-professional training program through CTC’s Theatre Arts Training.
Antonio De La Vega
Antonio De La Vega | Ricardo
Antonio is thrilled to be back at Children’s Theatre Company for I Come From Arizona. Including Children’s Theatre Company, Antonio has collaborated with other theatre companies, such as TASU Theatre Company and Minnetonka Theatre. Antonio is also the proud founder and owner of his own student-run theatre company, Contra Theatre Company.
Ananda Córdova Stuart
Ananda Córdova Stuart | Student, Understudy Gabi
Ananda returns to Children’s Theatre Company after her debut in Cinderella. Ananda played Mimi in Rent and Rapunzel in Into the Woods at SPCPA. She has enjoyed roles in The Wiz; Shadow Thieves; Goodnight Moon; and seven other shows through Stages Theatre Company. She is a senior at SPCPA in the musical theatre track.
Enzo La Hoz Calassara
Enzo La Hoz Calassara | Student, Understudy Ricardo
Enzo is very excited to be in his first CTC production. He’s in Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera program, and been in their production of Odyssey. He’s also taken classes with CTC’s Theatre Arts Training program, and participates in his middle school’s theatrical productions. Starting with Christmas musicals, Enzo has always loved acting, and he’s proud to represent the Latinx community in this important production.
Sara Magnuson
Sara Magnuson | Student, Understudy Fiona
Sara is thrilled to be making her Children’s Theatre Company debut. She has previously been seen in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR.; The Velveteen Rabbit; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical; and Bear Snores On (Stages Theatre Company); Hairspray (Youth Performance Company); and Sister Act (Fridley Community Theatre).
Shá Cage
Shá Cage | Ms. Chan
Theatre: England: Hackney Empire, Nottingham Playhouse, The Albany, Zion Arts. Familiar; Romeo and Juliet; King Lear; U/G/L/Y; Clybourne Park; Appomattox; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Guthrie Theater); Changelings; Henry IV; Forget Me Not; Blood Wedding (Ten Thousand Things); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Jungle Theater); Grounded; Eclipsed; Venus (Frank Theatre); The Liar; Mary T & Lizzy K (Park Square Theatre); Ballad of Emmett Till; Amen Corner; For Colored Girls (Penumbra Theatre); Ruined; and Agnes Under the Big Top (Mixed Blood Theatre Company).
Film: KEON; New Neighbors; Drop Dead Gorgeous; Midnight Chronicles; and Radio. Awards: Regional Emmy, Ivey Awards, Minnesota Women’s Press Changemaker, 2017 City Pages Artist of the Year. Fellowships: McKnight Fellowship, Fox/TCG Fellowship.
Alex Barreto Hathaway
Alex Barreto Hathaway | Understudy Reymundo, Ragged Looking Man, Ice Man
Alex is a performer and visual artist originally from Puerto Rico. He’s recently played with Sod House Theater, Sparkle Theatricals, Red Bird Theatre, and will be with Exposed Brick Theatre in November. He’s a Teaching Artist at Highland Park High. On the side, he makes masks and illustrates. @spacemanAx
Fernanda Badeo
Understudy Dolores, Yadira
I Come From Arizona is Fernanda Badeo’s first collaboration with Children’s Theatre Company. She has also performed for several theatres throughout Minnesota, such as Guthrie Theater, Commonweal Theatre Company, Savage Umbrella, and many others.
Marcelo Mena
Marcelo Mena | Understudy Jesús
Marcelo has enjoyed roles in Ludlow; The Music Man; Dear Edwina; and Annie. He has performed in musical theatre and film productions with several organizations in the Twin Cities and Miami, including Nimbus Theatre, YellowTree Theatre, and Miami Children’s Theater. Marcelo’s film productions include Minnesota in the Cosmos and Betta Fish.
Gabrielle Dominique
Gabrielle Dominique | Understudy Ms. Chan, Crossing Guard
Gabrielle is excited to make her CTC debut! She is a 2017 graduate of St. Olaf College where she earned degrees in Dance and Theatre. A South Minneapolis native, Gabrielle has collaborated with several Twin Cities companies including Flying Foot Forum, Wonderlust Productions, Theater Latté Da, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and Guthrie Theater.

Carlos Murillo (Playwright)
Awards: Doris Duke Impact Award, Mellon National Playwright Residency, two National Latino Playwriting Awards. American Theatre called his trilogy The Javier Plays (53rd State Press) “an extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers.” Carlos serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony and heads the Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University.

Lisa Portes (Director)
Lisa Portes is a director, educator and leader dedicated to expanding the circle of Americans reflected in 21st century American theatre.  She is a co-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and serves as champion of the LTC Carnaval of New Latinx Work. Lisa heads the M.F.A. Directing Program at The Theatre School at DePaul University and serves on the board of the Theatre Communications Group. She was recently honored with the Stage Directors and Choreographers 2016 Zelda Fichandler Award for Directors. Lisa’s work has been seen in Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and Teatro Vista.  Regionally she has directed for California Shakespeare Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Denver Theatre Center, Guthrie Theater, and South Coast Repertory. New York credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons and Soho Repertory Theatre.  Recent projects: The Glass Menagerie (California Shakespeare Theater); Breach by Antoinette Nwandu (Victory Gardens Theater); and Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (Denver Theatre Center). Upcoming projects include Rightlynd by Ike Holter (Victory Gardens Theater) and The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park).  She lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright, Carlos Murillo and their two children, Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro. 

Yu Shibagaki (Scenic Designer)
Yu’s designs have been seen at Writers Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, American Players Theatre, Sideshow Theatre, Haven Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre, American Theater Company, Steppenwolf Theatre, and First Stage. Upcoming Productions: Engaging Shaw (American Players Theatre); Mansfield Park (Northlight Theatre); The Father (Remy Bumppo Theatre); and Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens Theater).

Trevor Bowen (Costume Designer)
Trevor Bowen is proud to return to CTC for the 2018 – 2019 Season. Trevor’s costume design credits include: Last Stop on Market Street; Corduroy (CTC); Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill (Jungle Theater); Fellow Travelers (Minnesota Opera); Ragtime (5th Ave Theater and Asolo Repertory Theatre); BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre); Five Points (Theater Latté Da); GIRL Shakes Loose (Penumbra Theatre).

Paul Whitaker (Lighting Designer)
Paul returns to CTC, having worked on numerous productions including The Last Firefly, The Snowy Day; Seedfolks; Shrek the Musical; Cinderella; Alice in Wonderland; and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Local credits include work at the MN Opera, Guthrie Theater, and Theater Latté Da. New York and regional credits include work at The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, among others. Paul is a Principal Lighting Designer/Theatre Consultant for Schuler Shook.

Victor Zupanc (Composer, Sound Designer, Musician)
Victor is credited with approximately 300 productions as Composer, Musical Director, and Sound Designer throughout the country and around the world winning many awards and honors. Victor often composes for orchestras, choirs, and films, as well as for NPR. This is Victor’s 28th season as Music Director/Composer at CTC.

Miriam Weisfeld (Dramaturg)
Miriam was previously Senior Vice President at the Araca Group (Broadway) and Associate Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth (Washington, D.C.). Additional credits: New York Theatre Workshop, American Repertory Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville. M.F.A., ART/Moscow Art Theatre Institute at Harvard University.

Cynthia Decure (Dialect Coach)
Cynthia is a voice and dialect coach certified in Knight-Thompson Speechwork® and Fitzmaurice Voicework®, SAG/AFTRA, AEA, VASTA. Credits: El Huracán (Yale Repertory Theatre); In The Heights (Phoenix Theater, AZ, and Chance Theater, CA); The Long Road Today/Diálogos (South Coast Repertory); Shelter (CalArts Center for New Performance); and Showtime’s The Affair. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Stanislaus.

Coletrane T. Johnson (Assistant Director)
Coletrane is excited to return to CTC after interning on The Abominables. He has enjoyed onstage roles in Pippi Longstocking and Alice In Wonderland (CTC), and has directed productions of James and the Giant Peach; Alice in Wonderland; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Little Women; Seussical; Tarzan; and Fiddler On The Roof (Highland Park Community Center Theatre).

Alex Clark (Assistant Lighting Designer)
Alex is a freelance lighting designer and photographer with an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Minnesota. Recent assistant designs include Blithe Spirit (Guthrie Theater); Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Children’s Theatre Company); and Speechless (The Moving Company). As a lighting designer, Alex has recently created Dear Lenny: Bernstein’s Life in Song & Letters (Open Eye Figure Theatre).

Stacy McIntosh (Stage Manager)
This is Stacy’s 21st season at CTC. Some favorite credits include: Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax; The Abominables; Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical; The Jungle Book; A Christmas Story; Five Fingers of Funk!; Bud, Not Buddy; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas!; and A Year with Frog and Toad (CTC and New Victory Theatre).

Jenny R. Friend (Stage Manager)
Jenny has been a member of the Children’s Theatre Company family as the Production Stage Manager since 2005, and she loves nothing better than being in rehearsal with the amazing, creative staff here. She has traveled the country and the world organizing and nurturing theatre from San Jose to Santa Fe to San Diego, from Okoboji, Iowa, to Nagoya, Japan.

Chandler Jordan Hull (Assistant Stage Manager)
Chandler is in her fourth season at CTC. She has worked with Theater Latté Da, SteppingStone Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Saint Paul Academy, and ValleyFair. Up next: The Venetian Twins with Chicago College of Performing Arts.

I Come From Arizona Calendar

Performance Description

CTC’s I Come from Arizona is a non-musical production performed by a small group of adult and student actors. This production is a world premiere – meaning that this is the first time it’s ever been performed in the entire world. The show was commissioned, developed, and originally produced through our new play development lab here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. This play is bi-lingual and performed with a mix of Spanish & English. It centers on the experience of an undocumented family from Mexico and features characters from two contrasting perspectives on immigration.

This production takes place on our Cargill Stage and seats up to 298 people per performance.

Approximate run time: 2 hours including 1 intermission

Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Caution: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers. This script is still in development. Content is subject to change until script is solidified.

Early in the morning on Chicago’s South Side, Gabi Castillo wakes up to find a suitcase waiting by the door and her Papi packing food into a plastic bag. She explains that she is nervous about starting school the next day at Northside Prep, an elite high school across town. Out of the thousands of people who apply to Northside Prep, Gabi was one of the few to be accepted. Gabi is confused about why Papi is packing. Papi confesses to her that he is heading home to Arizona because his father, Gabi’s Abuelo, is sick and needs help. Papi promises that Mami will take Gabi to her first day of school but Gabi knows that will not work. Mami has to walk Jesús, Gabi’s little brother, to school and Mami doesn’t drive. Also, Mami did not want Gabi to go in the first place and hid her acceptance letter. Gabi will have to take the CTA (Chicago public transportation) by herself. Papi makes Gabi promise to be good and look after Mami and Jesús. He encourages Gabi to keep her head up and assures her that she belongs at Northside Prep.

The next morning Gabi wakes up to her Mami yelling that she will be late. Gabi asks Mami why she didn’t tell her that Papi was leaving. She is frustrated that Mami is keeping a secret. Just then, Jesús enters the kitchen and asks what the secret is about. Mami announces that she has a present for Gabi: a cellphone to be used only for emergencies. When they head out for school, Gabi agrees to let Mami walk her to the blue line but no farther. Jesús notices that Gabi packed her stuffed rabbit and pokes fun at her. Mami reminds Gabi to use her whistle if someone is messing with her and if anyone asks where she is from, to tell them she is from Arizona. Gabi promises to pick up Jesús from school and they part ways. The crossing guard greets Gabi. She has known Gabi and her family since Gabi was a baby. She explains that even when Gabi was young, she knew that Gabi was smart and going to make something of herself. She tells Gabi that the whole neighborhood is proud of her. Gabi boards the blue line.

A ragged looking man stands up and asks for money from everyone on the train. While everyone else is ignoring him, Gabi offers a candy bar. The ragged man becomes angry and yells at Gabi about how some American jobs are “taken down there” to Mexico. Gabi runs off of the train. Ricardo, a new classmate of Gabi's, asks about the stuffed rabbit. Gabi lies that her little brother put it in her backpack for good luck. He pulls out a spider man action figure. They realize they are in the same first class. Ricardo pulls out a new iPad to look at a map and is shocked Gabi doesn’t have an iPad also. Ricardo asks if she is Puerto Rican. Gabi is confused and tells him she is not Puerto Rican. Ricardo asks, “what are you?” and Gabi responds that she comes from Arizona. Ricardo keeps pushing and asks if she is Latinx. Gabi clarifies that she is Mexican. Ricardo assures her that he is okay with Mexicans. Ricardo asks if she is “legal.” Gabi assures him that she was born here but that it isn’t any of his business. Ricardo discloses that he is Puerto Rican and Polish.

They find their classroom where they meet Fiona. Fiona calls Ricardo “Richie” even though he asked her not to. It is revealed that Ricardo & Fiona have known each other since Junior Kindergarten. They both attended Parker, a private school. Fiona explains that it is the best private school in Chicago, and asks where Gabi went to school. When Gabi explains that she lives on the South Side, Fiona becomes nervous and explains that gangs and shootings happen on the South Side. Fiona declares that being from the South Side probably helped Gabi get into Northside Prep because the scores are weighted based on your neighborhood. Fiona explains that she was moved out of private school because her parents thought it would be good for her to see “the real world.”

Ms. Chan walks in and asks the group why they should care about global perspectives. Ricardo suggests that global perspectives are important because, with the evolution of the internet, we can now see world events as they are happening. Fiona explains that it is important to learn about global perspectives so that you can protect yourself from people who don't belong. Gabi challenges her by stating it is a good thing to have people from different cultures living together. Fiona argues that you have to be careful that those people are safe. She states that we “can’t just let anyone in” and need to be careful of terrorists, criminals, and people out to steal our jobs. Ricardo tells Fiona that she "sounds like a total Republican" to which Fiona replies "so what if I am?" Ms. Chan breaks the class out into groups to debate whether or not there should be a wall between the United States and Mexico. Gabi, Ricardo, and Fiona are in a group. Gabi challenges Fiona by stating that you can't call people bad just because they come from another place. Gabi confesses that her parents are from Mexico and aren’t terrorists or criminals. Fiona explains that Gabi’s parents may be an exception but that companies are moving jobs to Mexico to pay people less which puts Americans out of work. Then, people come here illegally from Mexico so more Americans lose jobs. Gabi tells the group about her encounter on the train and that it isn’t her fault the man didn’t have a job. Fiona declares that it might not be her fault but some people don't work and take advantage of the system. Fiona explains that she doesn't mind if people "have skills, speak the langage, or fit in." Ricardo calls her comment racist which causes Fiona to become angry and demand an apology. Fiona states that she thinks there should be a wall between the US and Mexico and that if people did not come to America legally they "should get in line like everyone else." Ricardo shares a story he saw on social media about a father who has been in the country for 30 years and was deported. Gabi begins to think about what would happen if her parents were sent back to Mexico.

Ms. Chan calls the class back to their seats and polls the class for who is pro-wall. Ricardo doesn't raise his hand for either pro or against. He explains that his grandfather was born in Poland and fled from the Nazis. If there had been a wall, he might not have been born. His statement inspires the first assignment and Ms. Chan instructs them to research their family history. Fiona, Gabi, and Ricardo are in a group to do the family history project together. 

Gabi stays after class to talk to Ms. Chan. She explains to Ms. Chan that she doesn’t have anyone to interview; her Papi is in Mexico and Mami won’t want to talk about it. Ms. Chan encourages her to try talking to her mother. Gabi and Ricardo head to their next class. Ricardo asks if Gabi has ever been to Mexico. Gabi is not happy about this question and asks if he has ever been to Poland or Puerto Rico. Ricardo explains that every summer he either goes to Poland with his dad or Puerto Rico with his mom. Ricardo’s parents are divorced. Fiona shares that she wishes her parents would get a divorce since they fight all the time. She blames it on the fact that her dad voted for Trump and her mom "would've voted for Bernie but got stuck with Hillary." They all exchange phone numbers. When Gabi pulls out her flip phone, Fiona pokes fun at the fact that it is so old. Fiona invites both Ricardo and Gabi over to her house the next day to work on the project.

Late that evening, Gabi sits at the kitchen table buried in homework. Jesús comes into the kitchen and asks when Mami is coming home. Mami had to pick up extra shifts while Papi is gone. Jesús asks if every day will be like this and expresses frustration that it took so long for Gabi to pick him up from school. Gabi promises that he will never again have to be the last kid picked up from school. Jesús asks about Papi but Gabi ignores the question and offers to tell him a bedtime story. The two become scared when the apartment buzzer sounds. Jesús tells her not to answer it but she rings down to ask who it is. She can hear nothing but the sounds of the street outside the door. Jesús asks her to finish the story but Gabi yells at him to go to bed. Jesús states that she is the meanest sister ever. 

The next morning, Gabi tells Mami about someone ringing the buzzer. Mami is angry that she called down and reminds her to never answer the door. Gabi asks Mami why she and Papi came to Chicago. Gabi tells Mami it is for a school project but Mami becomes afraid. Gabi tries to continue the conversation but Mami changes the subject. Gabi asks if Mami will have time tonight to answer the questions but Mami has to work again. Gabi becomes angry and yells that Mami is trying to make her fail out of Northside. Mami agrees to answer one question: why did they come to America? Gabi learns that Mami and Papi came to America because Mami was pregnant with Gabi and they wanted a better life for her. Jesús asks again where Papi is. Mami tells Jesús that Papi is in California visiting a cousin. Gabi is still angry and pushes Mami about why she is lying. Gabi’s phone rings; it is Fiona reminding Gabi that they are going to her house after school to work on the project. Gabi tries to explain that she has to pick up her brother from school but Fiona won’t hear it.

Fiona’s house is much different than Gabi’s house; Fiona clearly comes from money. Fiona admits that she hasn’t been able to talk to her mom or dad because they are on a business trip, but she did read their Wikipedia pages. According to Wikipedia, Fiona’s family has been in American since the 1800's. Her dad’s family emigrated from Germany and her mom’s family emigrated from Ireland. Ricardo hasn’t spoken to his dad because he is living at his mom’s house right now. Fiona suggests that they talk to Ricardo’s mother for the project since she emigrated from Puerto Rico. Ricardo explains that Puerto Rico is part of America so she can’t emigrate from Puerto Rico. Fiona asks how Gabi’s research is going and Gabi has to admit that she doesn’t have much because her mom was busy working. Fiona introduces everyone to her housekeeper, Yadira. Suddenly, Gabi remembers that she is supposed to pick up her brother from school.

Jesús is clearly upset that Gabi left him at school; she was so late that the school almost called the police. Gabi tries to comfort him but Jesús pulls away angrily and expresses his frustration that everyone is lying to him. Jesús tells Gabi about his friend Arturo who's father was taken by "the ice cream truck," confusing Ice Cream with ICE, and begins to worry that ICE will take away Mami and Papi. Jesús begins to cry and Gabi comforts him. The buzzer goes off again. Gabi goes to the receiver and pushes the button but only listens. Gabi promises that everything will be okay but Jesús doesn't believe her because she promised that she would pick him up from school but forgot. 

Gabi arrives at school and finds out that Ricardo and Fiona finished the project over the weekend without her. Fiona is clearly upset that Gabi did not pull her weight in the assignment and volunteers them to present even though she knows Gabi is not ready. While Fiona showcases her beautiful family tree built on her iPad, Gabi begins to feel anxious about the assignment when the world shifts and we start to experience Gabi's waking nightmare. The stage is converted to Gabi's distorted nightmare with strobe lights, underlying ice cream truck music and flashbacks of conversations overlapping each other. As the chaos crescendos, we return back to the classroom where Fiona is finishing her presentation. Gabi begins to try to tell her story but starts to cry and flees the classroom.

Ms. Chan comforts Gabi in the hallway and offers to give her an extension on her assignment but Gabi explains that it wouldn’t make a difference. Papi is in Mexico and Mami is always working and won’t answer her questions. Gabi worries she does not belong at Northside Prep. Ms. Chan asks Gabi where she is from but Gabi refuses to answer. Ms. Chan encourages her to try to talk to Mami again.

Gabi confronts Fiona for forcing them to present when she wasn’t ready. Fiona expresses that she wishes she was back at Parker. Gabi explains to Fiona that she feels the way Fiona's Irish and German ancestors felt hundreds of years ago which renders Fiona speechless. Ricardo invites Gabi to his house after school but she declines because she has too much to do. Ricardo offers to come over to her house to help. Gabi does not take the offer and vows to do everything by herself. Fiona apologizes for not being sympathetic about the assignment and admits that it is hard for her to imagine that not everyone lives like her. 

Gabi leaves school and is traveling home when the crossing guard stops her to ask why she isn't in school. Gabi explains that she doesn't belong at Northside. Gabi asks the crossing guard where her parents came from. The crossing guard explains that her parents came to Chicago when Gabi was just a baby and barely spoke English. Gabi asks if her parents came here illegally but the crossing guard doesn't know. Gabi asks, "Am I illegal?" and the crossing guard holds her close and says, "you're a human being, human beings can't be illegal, they might not be documented, but you can't be illegal." The crossing guard encourages her to ask her mother these questions. 

Late that night, Gabi is working on homework at the kitchen table when the phone rings. It is Papi. Papi tells Gabi that her Abuelo passed away. Gabi asks Papi if he really is in Arizona and he admits that he is in Mexico. Papí assures her that he wasn't sent back by ICE and that he will be home soon. Papi asks Gabi to pass along the message to Mami that he is on his way home and promises to call again when he can. Gabi lays her head on the table and begins to sleep. We are transported to her nightmare. We hear the distorted apartment buzzer and an ICE agent bursts through the door wielding a giant popsicle. He demands to know where her mother and father are. Gabi is cowering under the kitchen table. Just then, Mami enters looking exhausted after a full day of work. Gabi tells Mami what she learned from Papi. Gabi stirs up the courage to ask Mami what she dreamed about when she was a kid. Mami is reluctant to answer but Gabi keeps probing. Gabi becomes hysterical while explaining what she has been through today. Mami tells her not to worry which makes Gabi angrier. Gabi expresses that Mami has, "no idea what it's like to be humiliated." Mami becomes angry and explains that she is humiliated to be cleaning other people's houses and take care of other people's kids and have them not even look at you. Mami starts to leave when Gabi asks if they are undocumented. Gabi explains that she knows she won't be able to go to college or get scholarships if she is undocumented. She asks what the point of her hard work is if she is only going to end up cleaning skyscrapers and babysitting like her mother. Gabi accuses Mami of ruining everything. A line has been crossed and Mami admits that she and Papi are undocumented. Gabi tries to storm away angrily but Mami demands she sit and listen to the whole story. Mami explains that she married Papi and became pregnant with Gabi. The town where they lived was dangerous and there were many fights between gangs. She explained that Papi's cousin was shot and killed by one of those gangs. They decided to leave Mexico to ensure a better life for Gabi but didn't have much money so they borrowed from Gabi's Abuelo. Mami explains how they had to wait in the desert for the coyote who would get them to America. But, the coyote took their money and they had to walk across the desert. Mami went into labor and a man they met helped get her to safety in Arizona. Gabi apologizes for her anger and begins to cry. Gabi had no idea that Mami went through so much in order to get to America and worries that they will be forced to return to Mexico. Gabi realizes that Papi will have to make the same trek to get back to them.

The next day, Gabi is woken up by Jesús, who made her a bowl of cereal. Gabi explains that she is not going back to Northside and Jesús worries that she will not go back to school because of something he did. He admits that he heard Gabi and Mami's conversation last night. Gabi admits that she is scared and tells him she doesn't belong at Northside. Jesús tells Gabi that if she doesn't belong at Northside, how will he ever belong? He tells her that Mami almost died to get to America and didn't do that for her to give up. Jesús changes her mind and Gabi goes to Northside. Before she goes, she gives him the stuffed rabbit. 

Back at Northside, students start to worry that Gabi isn't coming back. Gabi walks into the classroom and volunteers to present what she learned about her history. She explains to the class that she travels all the way across the city every morning for her education and her parents traveled all the way across the desert to make a better life for her and her brother.

Later that evening, Gabi and Ricardo watch Jesús play soccer at a nearby park. Ricardo compliments her presentation and admits that he learned a lot. Gabi tells him about Papi and that she is scared he will not be able to come home. Gabi invites Ricardo over for dinner and they make plans for Gabi to join Ricardo for dinner. Gabi ensures that she is inviting him over to her house just as a friend. Ricardo admits that he isn’t into girls so it won’t be a problem. Just then Ricardo’s phone rings. It is Fiona hoping to join them for dinner as well. In the distance, we see Papi making his way home.

Content Advisories (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal):

Language: 3 out of 5 stars
Gabi experiences hurtful micro-aggressions around immigration, citizenship and race. Gabi calls her brother a dummy. Ricardo compliments Gabi by saying her presentation was “badass.”

Themes and Situations: 4 out of 5 stars
Gabi’s Mother & Father are undocumented immigrants. Gabi’s father goes back to Mexico and they worry he won’t be able to come back to America. Ricardo asks if Gabi is “legal.” We see Gabi experience hurtful micro-aggressions. Mami describes in detail how they got from Mexico to Arizona. Gabi & Jesús feel anxious that their parents will be taken by ICE. Gabi, a freshman, has some parental responsibilities to take care of her brother Jesús while Mami is working late. The students in Gabi's Global Perspectives class discuss the current political climate in the United States. Fiona often has opposing views on immigration than Ricardo and Gabi. At one point, Ricardo says to Fiona, "You sound like a total Republican." Fiona responds by calling Ricardo a "typical democrat."

Violence & Scariness: 3 out of 5 stars
A man yells at Gabi on the train. Mami describes the violence they experienced while they lived in Mexico. Gabi experiences a nightmare of an ICE agent breaking into her house. Gabi & Jesús are scared of who is at the door when their apartment buzzer is rung. 

Sensory Advisories: 4 out of 5 stars
Gabi experiences a nightmare which is startling and includes dramatic lighting as well as exagerated and surreal depictions of people in her life. She also experiences a nightmare of an ICE agent breaking into her house. The apartment buzzer can be loud and startling. 

Potentially Anxious Moments: 3 out of 5 stars
Gabi experiences hurtful micro-aggressions around immigration, citizenship and race. Gabi experiences high levels of anxiety. 

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