Let Me In!/Dejame Entrar! An interactive play by the People’s Theater Project explores issues of race, immigration, and oppression on stage as they ask audience members to participate.
The interactive, bilingual play “Let me in!/Dejame Entrar!,” directed by Mino Lora of the People’s Theatre Project and Katy Rubin of the Theatre of the Oppressed, opened at the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, on Thu., Feb. 10 to a diverse audience of about 60 people, ranging from senior citizens, to the local blogger community, to children.
But calling them an audience doesn’t acknowledge the critical roles they played in bringing the performance to life.
The original, bilingual show, divided into three short acts, is based on the performers’ true stories of immigration and discrimination that illustrate issues alive throughout the community.
After the energetic cast members of The People’s Theater Project and Theater of the Oppressed got the action rolling in each scene, they invited the audience onstage to perform.
Leaving stage fright aside, audience members jumped at the opportunity to participate, moved by the situations exposed on stage that struck familiar chords. Locals demonstrated that they not only recognized a particular problem, but that they were willing to suggest solutions.
The People’s Theater Project is a local non-for profit organization that empowers Northern Manhattanites using socially relevant and participatory theater. The theater group currently runs a theater program in one of the local schools and also brings events to senior centers. Public programs are offered in English and Spanish on a pay-what-you-can basis.
At the end of the show, a panel of local experts answered questions from the audience and discussed the issues portrayed on stage. Angela Fernandez, who is leaving her position as executive director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, reminded everyone that even undocumented individuals have rights that protect them. A representative from the Washington Heights and Inwood Coalition was also present to inform residents about housing services, ESL courses, and help with immigration issues the organization provides.
The troupe will present two more performances of “Let me in!/Dejame Entrar!,” one on Sun., Feb 13 at 3 p.m. at the Manhattan Theatre Source, and another on Wed., Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Columbia University Alumni Auditorium on W. 168th Street.
For more information visit: http://www.peoplestheatreproject.org/Peoples_Theatre_Project/Home.html.