Tuesday, February 4, 2020

2020 Spotlight on Diana DeLaCruz

The Road Theatre Co is proud to present the premiere of Nowhere on the Border by Carlos Lacámara and directed by Stewart J. Zully. The play concerns itself with the question Why do people cross borders? Two working class men, an Anglo on border watch and a Mexican, face off in the desert. What is discovered is that border crossings are both physical and emotional. The play opened January 17 at the Road on Magnolia and will play through March 8. Each week we will spotlight a member of the cast or creative team. This week the light shines on Diana DeLaCruz. 

What character do you play? How does she serve the play?

I play Montoya.  She is a "coyote", which is a term used for a person who smuggles people across the U.S.-Mexico border.  She smuggles two of the characters across the Arizona desert into the U.S.

How does the play challenge you as an actor?

Montoya is challenging because she is has qualities that are very different from my nature.  The biggest thing I hate more than anything in the world is confrontation. I am strong and direct, but not anywhere close to Montoya's fierceness. I usually am cast in nurturing roles-mothers, nurses, etc. So the opportunity to flex in this type of energy was exciting. And it hasn't come easy. When we first started rehearsals, I didn't like getting into Leandro's (Jesus) face to yell at him. It was uncomfortable. I really had to get over my need to be "nice" and embrace that element. I now really enjoy those moments, but it took some work, giving myself permission-to get there.

What do you feel is the meaning of the play? Its theme or message?

I feel that the meaning of the play is about how we are not all that different from each other and all want the same things. We all want safety and prosperity and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. When we get past what our supposed "differences" are, we find that truly-we are all brothers and sisters in this world, and we really are "in it together".

What would you like audiences to take away?

I am an immigrant myself. My mother brought me over precisely to give me the opportunity of a better life. I want people to recognize the humanity in these people who are in essence, breaking the law. Like the character Roberto says-he doesn't know anyone who wants to leave their country to come here, much less to come here to be a criminal. There are criminal, or "bad" aspects to every part of society. But the bottom line is that these people, like myself-are coming over to thrive in their communities, to try and live their best life, if you will.

Talk briefly about your director and castmates.

I am so grateful that I am surrounded by professional, soulful people. This is one of the most encouraging and supportive casts and director/producers I've ever worked with. 

Nowhere on the Border plays on Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. The NoHo Senior Arts Colony is located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. There is plenty of street parking but arrive early. For tickets call 818-761-8838.

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