SALSA Stories is a new work by Motus Theater, co-produced with Programa Compañeras, which explores the life, strength and resilience of Latina immigrants. Kirsten Wilson of Motus Theater says the work is a follow-up to “Do You Know Who I Am?” the previous production of Motus “different people in the audience said “what about the women?” because a lot of the people on stage were young men, who are in the middle of the immigration rights conflict and struggling with being immigrants in the community. I said “well listen to their stories and you’ll hear that this piece is so much about their mothers.” So after that piece was over we started to look for ways to tell the stories of women who are immigrants in the community.” Wilson connected with Elena Arenda of Programa Compañeras, the women’s program at El Centro Amistad “for the past 7 years, once a month we do an activity that we call My History with Salsa Flavor, where one women will present a salsa and at the same time they tell us about their life in the United States.”
The result is SALSA Stories, a stage production that features 7 immigrant Latina women sharing their stories. Viviana Arturo, the Associate Director of the production says the women’s stories have common themes of the universal human values of love and family “as they unfold there is a lot of richness that comes into it where you can’t help but have some sort of empathetic form with them. You get a little window, a little insight into their lives and of course you want to know more about them.”
Sophie Hernando Kofman, one of the seven Latinas in the production shares a story of being a Latina and being white “and how I struggle with that personally and how I see other people not even acknowledging that.”
Elena Arenda will perform two stories, one in English which deals with her relationship with her mother and another in Spanish which addresses the immigrant experience “we are here and we are working really hard and people need to know that we are so valuable in this community and even all the obstacles that we have, in order to find a really good job, in order to learn another language…we do the best that we can every, every day.”
There will be two previews of SALSA stories at the Dairy Center For The Arts East Theater, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder on Saturday December 12 at 7 pm, Sunday December 13 at 2 PM. The performances will be mostly in English and will give a preview of the production which will be fully complete and which will debut on Mothers Day 2016 as part of the year long One Action 2016: Arts + Immigration Project.
Sophie Hernando Kofman:
Top Photo, L-R: Kirsten Wilson of Motus Theater, Sophie Hernando Kofman, one of the performers in SALSA Stories, Viviana Arturo, Associate Director of SALSA Stories, Elena Aranda of Programa Compañeras who will share two stories in SALSA stories.