My dear friend and co-presenter Pedro and I met for coffee before the February 25th showcase.
He had a request for me.
“Do you think you could change the name to “Immigrants and Exile”, rather than “Immigrants in Exile”? Every time I see the title, I feel like I don’t belong in it because I am not in exile.”
We discussed the meaning of exile together. I explained that my idea was that a person could interpret exile in different ways. Anyone could experience exile without having to be an immigrant. But in the end, it made sense to change the title and allow more room for people to feel included if they didn’t relate to an exiled immigrant.
One of the performers, Dallas Rico, demonstrated exile by doing exactly this. Through a one-act scene, he took us through the time he was exiled by his church. His performance was poignant, heartbreaking, and as an observer, I , along with the audience was able to experience his loneliness, his exile. As much as I was saddened for him, I was grateful for his bravery to share such an experience, and to show us a different kind of exile.