Fresh off a weekend of comedy, Ovation Theatre steps into a more dramatic story for a special run. "The Migrant Farmworker’s Son," presented as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, runs this week only.
The Arizona-set story focuses on Henry (Xavier Carmona), the son of migrant farmworkers whose efforts to assimilate isolate him from his Spanish-speaking father (Frank Ayala) and make him question his identity.
Ayala was in a production of the show with director Maria Mercado 14 years ago and said a recent reunion of Latino actors brought up talk of revisiting the work.
"Considering the climate of our culture especially with dealing with the Latino community, it seemed the right time to bring this show to light again," Ayala said in an email.
Mercado wrote of the show created in 1998 by Silvia Gonzalez S.: "It is surprising how fresh and relevant these words still feel nearly two decades later! I am fortunate to be revisiting this magical script with this group of talented friends."
This time Ayala, along with wife Rosie, stepped in as producers as well as actors (Rosie plays the mother). He said they knew it was important to portray a "side of a family that usually is hidden; to see the struggle from the inside."
In depicting the home life of a migrant family, "Son" addresses issues of domestic abuse with underlined causes such as alcoholism as well as the importance of survival, forgiveness and the ability to move forward.
The show also features Juan Quinonez, Sienna Gomez, Ivan Mendoza and Olivia Ayala.
Ayala said he would love audiences to walk away with a different point of view.
"Even though the show is Latino-based and is about a migrant family, the storyline can be familiar to anyone. The themes in the show are universal and can be understood from any culture or socio-economical background."