Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

New Play at Jump-Start Imagines Life of Immigrants Who Land in San Antonio, Remain in Detention Center


  • Siggi Ragnar
A direct response to the crisis on the US-Mexico border and its ripple effect throughout America, Marisela Barrera’s two-act play interprets the lives of immigrants who have escaped north into San Antonio and those who are still struggling in detention centers.

The first act, “PAYASA USA,” tells the story of a mother from Mexico City and her 14 year-old Dreamer daughter — played by Barrera’s own daughter — who prepare for a pivotal performance at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as clowns, accompanied by music from Jaime Ramirez, who happens to be a former music director for Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The second act, “FRONTERA FRONTIER,” goes south to the Rio Grande Valley, drawing inspiration from Barrera’s time interviewing refugees and ICE agents alike. She performs an interpretive commentary gathered from the various characters she met at the border, such as nuns, public defenders, water station replenishers and refugees. Attendees may choose their ticket price for the 70-minute show, which has no intermission.

$10-$20, 8 p.m. Friday Aug. 16 and Saturday Aug. 17, 5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 18, Jump-Start Performance Co., 710 Fredericksburg Rd., (210) 227-5867,

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