Workshopping Immigration: “Love la familia”

The immigrant experience continues in Nathan Cusson’s new play, Love la familia, with music composed by Jeremy Zerbe, will be presented in workshop format directed by Susana Montoy Aquinchia. 
The limited run presentation features Joseph Bossé,  Kevin Shivcharran,  Kevin Duffy,  Angelina Adam, Nathan J Cusson, Jeremy Rosenblum, Raquel Orendáin Shrestha, Emily Glaser, Chelsea Cark, Joel Meyers, Joseph Caputo, and Brian Mendoza. This program is made possible by the New York City Artist Corps

The il vino theatter, 274 Morgan Ave Suite 201, Brooklyn, NY,  will host this full-length workshop of Nathan Cusson’s semi-autobiographical tale of young love, family loyalty, and immigration. Love la familia follows a mixed Caucasian-Hispanic family navigating life in America, mixing sucesses with tribulation.

Limited Run: Friday, Oct. 29 @ 7:30 and Saturday, October 30 @ 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

OuterStage spoke to the cast and crew about this new venture.

Joseph Bossé,

How has the immigrant experience changed over the decades (or has it?) 

This is an extremely potent question and it is different to encapsulate concisely. My family is Italian and Puerto Rican, so my experiences inform answers that wouldn’t be an exhaustive analysis to what many groups go through. I can speak endlessly, often extolling or condemning decisions made by Italian immigrants in this country and their legacy, and how different the immigration process was for them than for my Puerto Rican side of the family. The differences in treatment from society were night and day. 

This is a workshop, what are the hopes for it?

I can’t speak for the production team, but writer to writer, I wish Nathan Cusson the best outcome for this work. I hope audience feedback is enlightening, and I hope this work can grow and evolve to reach its own production run. I hope to see future iterations of it, and how these characters grow and change, how the ensemble changes in its richness and inclusivity, and how it paints a tale of growing up, growing old, and growing into more authentic versions of ourselves in our ever evolving society. 

Emily Glaser

What’s the message of the play?

From my perspective as an actor, I would say this is a play about communication, and the importance of communicating honestly and carefully in the digital age.

Who will see themselves in this piece?

High schoolers and actors especially 

Do YOU see yourself?

I’m definitely reminded of my high school experience to some extent when I think about this play!

How has the immigrant experience changed over the decades (or has it?)

As a white person and a nonimmigrant, I definitely am not the person who should be answering this question, but I would say the immigrant experience has gotten much worse following the facsist 45th presidential administration, and the damage done is a long way from being addressed.

This is a workshop, what are the hopes for it?

That it can entertain at least one person!

Kevin Shivcharran

I’m just an actor trying to hone my craft whatever chance I get. It’s very refreshing to be collaborating with other actors in person again. There is definitely an underlying theme of love and acceptance throughout this play. We see how the characters with different backgrounds struggle with this theme in some form. I think this is a cross-generational piece where everyone can find a character they can relate to or see a little reflection of themselves. I can relate to some of the plights of these characters. My parents are immigrants so I know they struggled and faced a transition/adjustment period when they came to America. However, I do think immigrants today face more discrimination than in years past. I hope the audience enjoys it!

Kevin Duffy 

What’s the message of the play? 

The importance of love and mutual respect in a difficult world.

Who will see themselves in this piece?

Anyone who has dealt with issues of economic hardship, struggles with mental health and cross cultural misunderstandings in a bicultural relationship. 

Do YOU see yourself? 

Yes, my husband is from Spain, so I completely identify with the small cultural misunderstandings between the parents. The role of Rene Cusson reminds me particularly of my foster father who as a working class man, struggled with economic setbacks while providing for his family and foster kids.

How has the immigrant experience changed over the decades (or has it?) 

I’m the descendant of Irish immigrants, and although they didn’t have to master a new language, they had to overcome economic hardship and exclusion in their new country so I’m very sensitive to the struggles of newcomers today.

This is a workshop, what are the hopes for it?

It’s a wonderful opportunity to focus this powerful drama even further. I hope it gets a well-deserved theatrical run and look forward to being part of the journey

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