New play portrays the undocumented experience in America

BERKELEY, Calif. – It may have taken eight years for Andrea Almario’s experience as an undocumented immigrant to come to the stage; however, she says the time was necessary.

“Chasing Papeles” was written and directed by Andrea and it is based on her own family’s undocumented story in America and on the community work she has done with caregivers who were victims of wage theft.

“It’s been a journey creating this with multiple areas of inspiration and of course it started first with our own family story and our involvement with Bindlestiff studios, creating stories there and wanting to say our own stories because it’s something we’ve hidden in our family and not really talked about,” said Andrea.

Andrea’s family also have lead roles in the production.

Andrea’s mother, Rose Buenaflor Almario, says that being in the play feels cathartic.

“It’s like reliving it again,” said Rose. “It’s refreshing the wounds, the experiences that we had when we were undocumented is being refreshed. And I could feel the emotions that the role is asking. I play it really intensely.”

Andrea’s sister, Aureen Almario, says that now more than ever, understanding what the undocumented experience is like is very important.

“As a people who have immigrated here I think it’s very important for all immigrants to stand in solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric especially right now with this election. We have to remember that we all aren’t native to this land,” said Aureen.

Andrea’s family says they are proud of her and the unique way she is telling the story.

“There’s many different elements that my sister is utilizing from shadow puppetry to hip-hop so the audience will be in for a surprise,” said Aureen.

“It’s always in our hearts to make this story and Andrea really worked hard on it, writing and making this production,” said Rose.

Andrea says she hopes her play can put a human touch to an issue that so many people look down on.

“I wanted to show that we’re not afraid to tell this story so others won’t be afraid to tell their story,” said Andrea.

“Chasing Papeles” runs till April 10th at the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • h
    11 April 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Hey, Andrea Almario’s what in the hell you doing in America if you are a undocumented immigrant? You should be shame you are broking the America law of illegal in America. Look “DUMMY.” Take your show and go back to where you came from “DUMMY.”

  • Achiever71
    11 April 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    H, your English is so bad. ” You should be shame you are broking the America law of illegal in America”. My goodness, go back to school!