Directed by Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, Sole Survivors is billed as "a no-holds-barred portrait of one avaricious American woman and three desperately determined immigrants who willingly put their lives on the line in their dangerous pursuit of The American Dream."
Inspired by Woody Guthrie's protest song, "Deportee – Plane Wreck at Los Gatos," and "drawn from dozens of interviews with documented and undocumented Southwestern migrant workers," Vest's show "bravely examines the desire for a better life as a basic human issue," according to production notes.
(The characters are named Juan, Rosalita, Jesus and Maria after the people in Guthrie's song that detailed the 1948 crash of a plane that was transporting deported illegal immigrant farm workers from California back to Mexico.)
Sole Survivor will feature two mariachi bands — Flor de Toloache (New York) and Mariachi Sonidos del Monte (Albuquerque).
Sole Survivors is being presented June 3-7 at Stage Left Studio Theatre, 438 W. 37th Street between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). The show then moves to the N4th Theater at 4904 Fourth Street NW, Albuquerque, NM, where it will play July 18-Aug. 1.
Sole Survivors was developed during a year-long solo performance workshop led by Tanya Taylor Rubinstein of Project Life Stories, and is based on interviews Vest conducted with workers from Mexico and El Salvador, "combining her photo-journalistic background and performance experiences."
New York City performances at Stage Left will be June 3-5 and June 8 at 8 PM and June 7 at 7 PM. Tickets are $18. Visit www.smarttix.net or call (212) 868-4444.
New Mexico performances at N4th Theater are at 8 PM July 17, July 18, July 24, July 25, July 31 and Aug. 1.
Tickets are $15. Visit www.vsartsnm.org or call (505) 344-4542.