By Mario Conde
Next week at the Women’s Improvement Club a monologue by valley actor, Roy Dorantes, and will have a presentation that will be free to the public.
The dramatic monologue “To Cross the Border” by Roy Dorantes will be presented at the Women’s Improvement Club in Calexico on Thursday, July 21, at 8 p.m. Admission is free but capacity is limited to only eighty people.
The one-man play highlights the plight of an illegal immigrant as he crosses the border with dreams of finding a better life but instead finds himself facing a gauntlet of dangers and trouble in the form of double-crossing “polleros” and tough anti-immigrant laws. Dorantes has been very successful with this monologue since he has been invited to perform in places like San Diego, Arizona, and Tijuana with great success.
“The idea for the play came to me around the time when Arizona was about to sign the SB-1070 law and people were getting very emotional about it,” Dorantes said. He first intended to make a play just to educate his immediate friends in Mexicali about the implications of the tough Arizona law and of the many dangers that an illegal immigrant faces. “I did it so that they would be better informed. I didn’t want them to just throw rocks without having a broader picture.” Dorantes says that after showing the play a couple of times many people convinced him that he should offer it to the general public and to the schools. So he ventured out of the little café in Mexicali where the play was born and presented it to a packed house at the prestigious Mexicali Center of the Arts (CEART). “People were coming up to me, hugging me, and thanking me for the play. Several told me that it was their story that I was telling. At that point it became a work of love and vision for me.”
Originally the play was titled “To Boycott Arizona?” but recently Dorantes decided to change the title. “Some people thought I was calling for a boycott of Arizona, but that was not the case. The name was just a reference to something that was going on at the time. The new title reflects more my intention of highlighting the experience of the illegal immigrant,” Dorantes explained.
In his monologue, Dorantes blends narrative, poetry, dance, choreography, parody, and moral lesson all into one in order to tell a story that he wants to serve as a warning against crossing the border illegally and also to promote compassion upon those that do it out of desperation. The presentation is free of charge but seating is limited so reservations should be made by contacting the actor at 760-234-1940 or at mailto:email@example.com. The Women’s Improvement Club is located at 320 Heber Street, in Calexico, and the doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for those with reservations and at 7:45 p.m. for everybody else.