(Editor’s note: Teatro Inmigrante is the brainchild of Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells, local artists with roots in the farmworkers’ movement originated in the 1960s in the Central Valley.)
In 2019, members of Teatro Inmigrante (Immigrant Theater) performed the play, “Who is responsible? The Immigrant Crisis at the Southern Border,” at the Mosqueda Community Center. The play was written and directed by Agustin Lira and produced by Patricia Wells.
This year, through three small grants from the California Arts Council, the California Endowment and Fidelity Charitable, Teatro Inmigrante will continue teaching theater but instead of a full-length play will focus on creating short skits about the disparities that exist in our community and across the country that prevent poor people from climbing out of poverty and achieving a more just, healthy and secure way of life.
A disparity is an inequality that exists in society, for example, racism, police brutality or childhood poverty, to mention a few. Covid-19 affects people of color—Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans—significantly more than the population as a whole. Teatro Inmigrante will produce skits (3–10 minutes in length) from the above-mentioned disparities and many others plentifully found in Fresno and across the nation. These short skits will address the many issues standing in the way of low-income communities.
Because of Covid-19, gatherings will not be in the usual, natural way, but rather via Zoom, virtually. Teatro Inmigrante is reaching out to the general public, those interested in learning more about this new project and those who want to be involved. Virtual meetings are held once a week on Fridays 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 559-485-8558 or firstname.lastname@example.org.