I Wasn't Born Here

I Wasn't Born Here

This was the first play created by this group. With the subtitle Stories of Unexpected Journeys, it told the story of immigrant women. To produce this play, Lina de Guevara, artistic director and founder of PUENTE, also an immigrant from Chile, got together with five women from El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua. They did not have any previous experience in theatre, but they were all eager to tell their stories..

This play was very important for PUENTE. The play was rehearsed and produced in six months, and during that period ways of working were established and rehearsal and research methodologies were discovered. These served as a basis for future work and shaped the group.

At that time it was decided that PUENTE's plays would be performed in English and not in Spanish. We agreed that our intention was to tell our experiences to the majority of Canadians and that we didn't want to remain isolated in a Spanish speaking ghetto.

It was also considered important to create our plays after an intense period of research through interviews and workshops, in the community of Latin American women, so that we could reflect their experience with integrity. A questionary was designed in such a way that its answers would provide us with images, stories and suggestions that could be staged. Women talked about their feelings of isolation, their struggle to adapt to the new country, of the pain experienced because of separation from family and friends, and of the impact that immigration had in their family relationships.

Because the majority of the actresses' English was precarious, image, music and movement became extremely important staging devices. (1988)

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