Single Tickets On Sale July 27, 2022 at 10am
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Perspectives: Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?
Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? is a work of creative nonfiction that has been enthusiastically received by audiences around the country. The hour-long show is a mashup of personal narrative, lessons in American history, and stories about respecting people’s names, even when they don’t sound and look like “real” American names.
The 20+ characters Irma Herrera portrays invite audiences to experience what’s in store for a Mexican-American girl who leaves a segregated South Texas town in search of educational and economic opportunities. An affirmative action student, she ultimately finds her way to the liberal mecca of San Francisco to work as a civil rights lawyer at MALDEF, the leading civil rights organization representing Latinos.
The play explores the stereotyping and dehumanizing that are at the heart of white supremacy, and its impact on individuals and communities. Woven into these personal stories is a wide swath of American history: from the invasion of Mexico by the US in the mid-1800s, to the separation and caging of brown children when their desperate parents were apprehended at the Southwestern border. What are the odds that a federal appeals judge, hearing a case about the detention of these immigrant children, spent three years of his own childhood in government detention in a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII?
Irma Herrera’s stories help us connect the dots – Muslim ban, the racializing of COVID-19 and the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, and laws targeting trans youth. They are related. Her political commentary about life in the United States is shared with humor and warmth. As noted by one reviewer, Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? “speaks volumes about the ingrained power structures in American society…food for thought about how the dominant culture asserts and imposes its dominance.”