Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales) is the first trilingual play of its kind, telling the story of an undocumented Mexican mother to a Deaf son. She must learn to navigate three different worlds to escape an abusive husband who cannot cope with their disabled child. The play is based on the experiences of Mercedes Floresislas, the playwright, who struggled with depression and an abusive relationship while raising her Deaf son.
The play will run from April 5-28 at Casa 0101, a Boyle Heights theater founded by the celebrated Chicana writer, Josefina López, to tell the unheard stories coming from our underrepresented minority communities. After meeting Floresislas at a writing workshop in 2007 and learning of her desire to write about her experiences, Lopez mentored Floresislas as she completed the play and went on to become a clinical social worker, and Casa 0101 is proud to present this truly personal, poignant production, directed by Edward Padilla. In this excerpt from a great writeup about the play on Broadwayworld.com, Floresislas explains how this play has been a journey to give herself, her Deaf son and the Deaf community a voice:
“As the years have passed since I wrote ‘Tamales De Puerco (Pork Tamales),’ and with a few years as a therapist under my belt, I have reflected on the real reason I wrote this play. ‘Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales)’ is an expression of gratitude to the Deaf Community for my life. When my son Michael was born, it was obvious ‘something was off’ but it took more than two years to figure out that he was simply profoundly Deaf.”
“Prior to his diagnosis I was at the end of my proverbial rope: I was severely affected by an unidentified post partum depression and the compounding effects of an abusive relationship; I was ready to check out. I was convinced that he was the perfect baby and that I had caused whatever was affecting him. I pitied him for having such a lousy mother. Although his diagnosis gave me the courage to find a better life, it still took years for the effects of depression and abuse to disappear since ‘not good enough’ was my identity.
“It wasn’t until I fully embraced American Sign Language as my son’s language that my life changed. I realized that the only thing I had to do was try and that alone made it impossible to fail for no matter how badly I signed, I would still manage to communicate how important he is to me. How could I possibly fail? The Deaf Community nurtured and guided me. By embracing the challenge to be my son’s voice and bridge to the hearing world despite my severe anxiety and depression, I was healed. My depression lifted, my anxiety became silent, my world expanded, my family grew, and my view of myself also changed. My life has been so extraordinary because of the voice my son’s hearing impairment forced me to acknowledge. My son and my Deaf family taught me to find and use my voice and, who needs speech when you have a voice?”
There will be preview performances for $15 on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4. Ticket prices for Opening Night on Friday, April 5, 2013 are $25 each, which includes the performance and post-show reception. Tickets for performances during the rest of the four-week limited run of the show from April 6 – 28, 2013 will be $20 per person for General Admission; $17 per person for Seniors; and $15 per person for Students/Boyle Heights residents. Discounts for Groups are also available. This play is recommended for mature audiences only and advance reservations are highly recommended. Theater patrons can get a $2 discount by presenting their Metro Bus Cards at the Box Office when buying tickets. Metro bus stations are located on First Street in Boyle Heights at both Soto Street, and at Boyle Street (Mariachi Plaza), within a short walking distance to the theater. For tickets, please call the Casa 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail [email protected], or buy online at www.casa0101.org.