The daughter of migrant workers finds courage and friendship in Luna | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

The daughter of migrant workers finds courage and friendship in Luna 

Filament Theatre's staging helps the audience feel right at home.

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click to enlarge Luna


Christian Libonati

Recommended for ages four through ten, Filament Theatre's production of this one-act by Ramón Esquivel creates a well-balanced environment of both interactive fun and sensitive exploration of challenging themes. Before the show, audience members are given paper star necklaces to color. We play the role of stars, best friends to the moon, Luna, played by a charismatic and warm Deanalis Resto. Luna is the best friend of the story's central character, Soledad, a child of migrant farm workers, played by bright-eyed and earnest Samantha Nieves on the afternoon I attended.

The scope of Soledad's dreams is illustrated by her constant companion, a book titled The Complete Guide to the Galaxy for Kids Who Ask a Lot of Questions. But Soledad's parents must go where the work goes, which means she is constantly changing schools, frequently lonely, and has a difficult time making friends. Luna encourages her to be vulnerable along the way with the refrain, "Taking risks is hard to do, but taking risks builds courage too."

Under Alejandro Tey's direction, this delightful production stands out for its unique use of space and audience interaction. The audience is spread out across platforms and encouraged to change seats throughout to get closer to the roving action. While moving, we also gain empathy for Soledad's family, who "move so that others can stay in one place." At the performance I attended, the children in the audience were enthusiastic volunteers, engaging in dance-offs, flashlight search parties, and the rebuilding of Soledad's "home" at each new location.  v

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