For the last two years or so, immigration has been at the forefront of endless social and political debates, sparking fear in those who feel that their presence in this country might be in jeopardy. "ICE," written by Leon Martell and directed by Debbie Devine, is set in 1988, but its sentiments still haunt our communities today.
Meet Chepe (Jesús Castaños-Chima) and Nacho (Tony Durán), two brothers who hope their soulful taco truck can drive them towards the American Dream. In the so-called "land of the free," what is the greatest value of all? Are honesty and justice the true American pillars, or must one do anything at all to succeed in a world of winners and losers?
"ICE" approaches these deep questions with utmost respect for our gente, in a personal and heartfelt manner, where Chepe and Nacho could be any of our tíos. Even with a dark topic, the play has an overall refreshing tone of hope. While it might be tempting to depict explicit police violence and brown bodies being taken down on stage for shock value, "ICE" gladly does not take that road, knowing well that is not a necessity to get its points across.
In a relatively small theatre and a three-actor cast, the production finds creative and captivating ways to make the best of their space, turning the show into a multimedia experience filled with projections, screens, and well-mimed object work. With this new play, 24th Street Theatre continues to be a leader in theatre for young audiences, and to provide its neighborhood with excellent empathic works.
"ICE" runs until June 10, at the 24th Street Theatre (1117 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA), with performances on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $15 for students, and as low as $2.40 for North University Park residents (with ID). For more information and for tickets, visit https://www.24thstreet.org/playstouring/ or call (213) 745-6516.
Contact Contributing Writer Sam Cavalcanti here or follow her on Instagram.