“Across the Border con Camacho,” directed by Donna Marie, was hosted by a new theater group called Telling Our Authentic Stories Theater Company (TOASTCO) on Jan. 22 at Faith Baptist Church in Stockton.
It stars and was written by Delta College Professor Manuel Camacho.
“Today is the opening of the play ‘Across the border with Camacho’, this is about my personal experience coming across the border, the struggle to making it across,” he said.
“Well, I wish all of you guys out there could’ve been here to experience the play and everything what’s going on around the world, there is poverty everywhere around the world in a lot of people come here to the United States you know to better their lives and be- cause I guess better for is there are kids and to help family,” said cast member Maria Alejandra Cobian.
“I just want to let everyone know that theater is a great way to express yourself and tell your own story which is one of the things that TOASTCO is doing with their plays and they’re all about telling the story of their people in the story of the untold person.
“We just trying to get everyone out there to know what’s going on and how everything is with people,” said cast member Ryan Lantz.
It’s almost show time and the church is packed with people waiting to watch the play, as the director comes to the front, gives an introduction about TOASTCO, the lights go pitch black.
A spotlight hits the two actors.
One was speaking Spanish and the other one speaking in English, a direct translation of the statement being said.
As the play goes back into the dark set, I’m hearing music, sound effects, the lights come back on seeing the cast members dressed up.
It takes place in Mexico with a family being hungry because there is less food in the house.
Camacho wants to cross the border to get some meat, and try work to help the families back home.
As the play goes on, it hits our hearts with education, sadness and laughter in the story telling of the play.
Audience members reacted after the play ended.
“I learned a lot tonight actually, TOAST- CO has put on an amazing presentation this was truly an authentic story I am I didn’t know what to expect at first it started out with Spanish and I know very little Spanish I know how to find the bathroom and if I get lost how to find a telephone that’s all I know,” said Jennifer Primous. “But I learned about a different language, a different culture and the true story about a professor coming over to America. It was funny, it intriguing, educational and had a deep message of understanding the struggle of someone striving to do better in life and I think it was inspirational.”
Katrina Lockett echoed the statement
“I’ve experienced how some people just don’t know how to be nice to other races and people that coming over the border they have a different view on life, and I really enjoyed it was great tonight,” she said.
Donna Marie said the goal was to share Camacho’s story of crossing the border.
“One of the things that tends to happen is we listen to a lot of media, and we have a misperception about what that experience is really like we have a misperception about what immigration, and how it how it affects our country.” she said. “I think that is very important to educate the community on different cultural perspectives about the things that affect us the most, and this was a great show of something like that it was committed, as well as, sad that it took you to a journey of emotions. The play did not just focus on the tragedy of it, but there we found the humor in the tragedies which is a nice way to tell the story that will be stimulating, educational and engaging at the same time.”