Steppenwolf Announces Complete Casting For I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER
Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) is proud to produce the world premiere of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, based on the New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist by Erika L. Sánchez, adapted by Isaac Gomez, directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez and featuring ensemble member Karen Rodriguez. Firmly rooted in Chicago, this poignant and vibrant new work is a love story to young Chicanas who, in trying to find the truth about the people and the world around them, end up finding themselves.
The press performance is Saturday, February 29 at 3pm. Weekday performances are reserved for school groups only. Tickets to public performances ($20; $15 with student I.D.) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to support the Teen Arts Pass (TAP) initiative as an arts partner, which allows teens to experience live arts performances all around Chicago for only $5. Teens can register for free to TAP at teenartspass.org.
The cast features (pictured top row L to R) previously announced ensemble member Karen Rodriguez (Julia), Charín Alvarez (Amá/ensemble), Eddie Martinez (Apá/ensemble), Peter Moore (Mr. Ingrahm/ensemble), (pictured bottom row L to R) Leslie Sophia Perez (Lorena/ensemble), Robert Quintanilla (Juanga/ensemble), Dyllan Rodrigues-Miller (Olga/ensemble) and Harrison Weger (Connor/ensemble).
A world premiere adaptation of Erika L. Sánchez's award-winning novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter follows Julia, a Chicago high school student as she navigates trials and tribulations of following her dreams of becoming a writer alongside the death of her older sister, Olga-who might not have been quite as perfect as she seemed.
Following its four-week run at Steppenwolf, and working in collaboration with Storycatchers Theatre, Steppenwolf for Young Adults will tour its production of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter for a week to three Juvenile Justice Facilities in Illinois. Storycatchers Theatre, winner of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, guides justice-involved youth to write true personal stories in order to overcome traumatic experiences and to empower their individual growth. These young people turn their narratives into powerful musical theatre performances for the community, facilitating discussions that create change in themselves and their audience.
Michael Byrd, Asst. Supt. of Programs, IYC-Chicago, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice shares, "we appreciate the opportunity to have Steppenwolf Theatre present a stage performance of I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at IYC-Chicago this year. The arts allow people the chance to feel, reflect and get in touch with realities and stories that help us to be more reflective and understanding of ourselves and others. Through Steppenwolf performances, the youth in our care will have the opportunity to experience moments and witness occurrences from their own lived experiences."
Building on the success of past collaborations with Storycatchers, during which Steppenwolf for Young Adults toured its productions of Monster and The Burn, this tour will provide detained and incarcerated youth a chance to see the production and share their stories with professional artists involved with the play.
"Storycatchers is excited to bring I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter into the facilities. In this year's writing sessions, the boys at Illinois Youth Center-Chicago have been intrigued by the book's themes of family secrets, sudden loss, and hidden identities," says Meade Palidofsky, Founder and Artistic Director of Storycatchers Theatre. "Looking at their own family relationships, they have asked the question, "Am I your perfect son?" They have also been inspired to relate family stories of crossing the border. In one stirring and lovely song, "Leaving Zacateca", one young man examines the clashing cultures of his Aztec history and Chicago gang life. Exploring Daughter has been a great journey for our youth. They are eager to share their work and discoveries."
Special Post-Show Storycatchers Performance
In addition to the tour, Steppenwolf will feature Storycatchers youth on the Steppenwolf stage in an original performance created in response to SYA's production of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and featuring these incredible young people and their stories. This performance will take place immediately following the March 14 matinee performance. Audience members are welcome to stay for this performance.