What do you think of the image in our flyer? What does it make you feel?
How does it frame a conversation about immigration history in relation to race and class?
During our talkback, we hope to address these and other questions that the performance brings up to performers, respondents, and audience members.
It’s Only a Paper Moon Hanging Over Immigration History is a multimedia performance that focuses on the creation of racial scripts in immigration history, and on how these scripts shaped American immigration history through both legal methods and extralegal violence. The performance explores how ‘American’ came to be associated with assimilating into ‘whiteness’ and how the color-line is the dominant border patrol story of United States immigration history. The performance returns to the darkness of the theater throughout the evening to explore with the audience the possibility of envisioning other scripts, cast/es and roles that would create a more equitable future.
This performance was created by Kirsten Wilson – award-winning theater director and performer, and Motus Theater Artistic Director. We are excited to have Jim Walker, Alexis Miles, and Anthony Salvo joining Wilson on stage for this performance. Walker is a lauded improvisational theater performer and the co-creator of the award-winning musical Normal Heights. Miles is a founding Motus Theater board member, and a performer in Motus Theater piece Rocks Karma Arrows. Salvo is a jazz violinist, a teacher, and a composer based in Boulder County.
It is Only a Paper Moon Hanging Over Immigration History will be performed as a work-in-progress event at the Dairy Arts Center: Thursdays – Saturdays at 7 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm on August 17-20 and August 24-27. Each evening includes the performance of Act 1, the performance or scenic reading of Act 2, and a talkback.
It is Only a Paper Moon Hanging Over Immigration History is part of a larger exploration of immigration history called LET’S ALL BE AMERICANS NOW. This project explores the role of race and class in immigration history, how immigration shaped American culture, and how evolving ideas about race shaped our view of who is American. How did one go from being an ‘immigrant’ to becoming ‘American’? How did the concept of ‘American’ come to mean White and English speaking? Who ‘melted into the pot’ and who didn’t? What were the costs and rewards of losing one’s culture in order to pass as ‘American’? The project aims to create theater that uses humor and historical drama to challenge audience members’ notions about race and class, illuminates our complex immigration history, and re-imagines American identity.