Signed in as:
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Premiere: May 27, 2023 @ Queens Theatre, NYC
Story by & Choreography: Juan Castaño
Artistic Director: Alberto Lopez Herrera
Commissioned Choreographers: Grisel Pren Monje & Gabriela Garcia
Original Music & Musical Arrangements: George Saenz
Dramaturg: Gabriela Garcia
Costuming: Alberto Lopez Herrera, Melanie Wong, & Amanda Gladu
Scenery: Rodrigo Hernandez
Lighting Design: Alex Dheming Vasquez
Projections Design: Carolina Ortiz
In the desert sun of the Texas/ Mexico border, the cotton-pickers (los algodoneros) begin before sunrise their day-long work in the fields harvesting cotton, with the snap of each stem adding a small ounce to the large burlap sacks that await. Approaching the workers is a man in a uniform who watches them and calls them to speak. A few young laborers listen to the promise of a better life- the American dream- and decide to join the ARMY.
The young laborers arrive at boot camp and are pulled into their rigorous training. Although they are used to hard work, the training brings new challenges, and they struggle. They recall their home, the spirit of their community, and persevere. They emerge as soldiers.
In the barracks, the young soldiers rest for the first time. They share music and dance, joyously remembering their families and the norteño music of their home. They are also pranksters, joking and making fun, and bonding as a new family.
Their drill sergeant abruptly brings their fun to an end. They receive letters from their family, the first contact from home since they began training. Each letter brings a unique message of love and hope. The soldiers continue their training and soon learn the USA has joined the war.
The members of Company E have tremendous success in their deployment due to their training and dedication. Much like their warrior ancestors, they fight together for their home and for each other. When they arrive at the Rio Rapido in Italy, they face an almost insurmountable challenge, which most do not overcome.
The veteran and hero returns home and receives the first US medal of honor given to a Mexican. After the ceremony, the soldier walks home. Along the way, they relive the voyage remembering the American dream that was promised, their lost brothers and sisters, and the future that awaits. Family and friends welcome the soldier home, feeling the heaviness of their heart. Surrounded by hope, the soldier is inspired and begins to write the story of Company E.