Culture Clash's Bordertown Now Opens May 30 at Pasadena Playhouse

Published : Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 3:35 PM

Left to right: Ricardo Salinas, Herbert Sigüenza, Richard Montoya. Photo provided courtesy of Culture Clash

Top: Richard Montoya, Herbert Sigüenza. Bottom: Ricardo Salinas. Photo provided courtesy of Culture Clash

Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California is presenting Culture Clash, revisiting their hit Bordertown twenty years later, with Bordertown Now from Wednesday May 30 to Sunday June 24 at Pasadena Playhouse.

In this aptly timed production, Los Angeles’ own political satire troupe — return to the southern border to investigate the state of affairs once again.

Re-imagined, remixed and fully reloaded, Bordertown Now is an irreverent look at the people at the center of one of America’s most hot-button controversial issues, and the walls that divide us all. Infused with their trademark satirical approach, the nation’s number one Chicano/Latino performance trio messes with the boundaries of theater and comedy to break down the divisions between cultures.

In the community spirit of the show, there will be a post-show conversations after every performance on different topics including immigration, border policy, and more, led by topic experts.

The current list of speakers include Lalo Alcarez, cartoonist of La Cucaracha (first nationally syndicated Latino politically themed daily comic strip); Susana Bautista, executive director of Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art; Jonathan Fung, Matathi Benjamin and Jean Grant of Immigration Resource Center, San Gabriel; Oscar Garza, producer of KPCC FM “The Frame,” and Kelly Lytle Hernández, UCLA Professor of History and African American Studies and Interim Director of the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. Additional speakers will be added; for latest list please visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

Also Mike Kinman, Rector of All Saints Church, Pasadena; Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Luis J Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles; artist Ana Serrano; Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights; Roberto Suro of USC Sol Price School of Public Policy; and representatives from the Alhambra Latino Association, Dream Team Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics.

Tickets start at $25 for Bordertown Now and are available at pasadenaplayhouse.org as is the schedule of speakers of the post performance discussions.

Danny Feldman, Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director, said, “For more than a year, the immigration debate has been in the news on a daily basis. It is so rare to be able to present a new work that directly responds to our ever-changing world. Who better to examine this issue than the iconic troupe Culture Clash, making their Playhouse debut. Through humor, satire, sentiment and curiosity, they manage to bring us closer to the humanity at the center of the border issues.”

Culture Clash said, “It’s important for Americans to sit in a room and hear the points of view of other human beings. It’s harder to be mad at somebody when you are face to face having a conversation with them. This is how we create empathy and hopefully change.”

“In 1998 when we wrote the original Bordertown, we were obsessed with the border. We wanted to know: how could a line in the sand (some say a scar) divide and polarize people with such intensity? Was their humor there? Was there hope? Were there members of single families now divided into two? We understand now more than ever the sacrifices that our parents and grandparents made, not just for family, but for country!”

Culture Clash’s Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Sigüenza are joined by Sabina Zúñiga Varela. Varela appeared with Culture Clash in Chavez Ravine: An L.A. Revival at the Kirk Douglas Theatre on the occasion of the troupe’s 30th anniversary in 2015.

Bordertown Now is directed by Obie Award-winning artist Diane Rodriguez. She began her career as an ensemble member in the politically conscious, El Teatro Campesino and now is Associate Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. In 2016 President Barack Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Arts, a body that advises the Director of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Avenue. For tickets and more information call (626) 356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

 

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