I grew up on the corner of Story and Capitol, in an apartment building inhabited by immigrants. We were poor, stacked up on top of each other. Growing up I wondered how it was possible to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country and still here we were sleeping on the living room floor. I wrote this play for us, poor people, undocumented immigrants, las cucarachas of this country.
I wanted to write something honest and raw, and showcase how difficult our lives are. I wanted to hold a mirror so we can also see how beautiful we are, to remain human. Truth be told, I am tired of trying to use my life story to advocate for immigration reform. There is no call to action at the end of this play. I want us to protect our stories, honor our pain, heal our undocumented families.
This story is for us, los indocumentados, I love you and I am rooting for us. We are an essential thread in the fabric of any major city. Silicon Valley would not be anything without our hands. Come find us, EASTSIDE PRESENTE!
-Yosimar Reyes, November 2022
Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerrero, Mexico and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work.
The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.” His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana.
His work has also been published in various online journals and books including Mariposas: An Anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press), and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press). Reyes was featured in the documentary, “2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry.”
Written and performed by Yosimar Reyes
Directed by Kat Evasco and Sean San José
Produced by the Living Word Project, With You Productions, and Jose Antonio Vargas
Prieto is an autobiographical one-man show. Known for his frequent exploration into themes of migration and sexuality, Reyes takes his audience on a journey into his experience growing up queer in the ‘hood of East San Jose. Through the playful, lovably naive lens of an 8-year-old Reyes, Prieto tells the story of an overprotective grandmother who recycles bottles to support her family while her grandson wonders why they can’t have money like his friends. It tells the story of chismosa vecinas (gossipy neighbors) who peek through their windows and watch as the neighborhood boys tease young Reyes for “acting like a girl.” To escape from the taunting and the daily toil, 8-year-old Reyes creates an imaginary world for himself — one made up of books and ’90s R&B.
See the show at MACLA’s Castellano Playhouse Theatre November 10-19, 2022.
Prieto runs for approximately 70 minutes.
Kat Evasco, Sean San Jose
Tonilyn A. Sideco
MACLA Technical Crew
Earl Leal (Light & Sound)
Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, Executive Director
Eda Benites, Operations & Finance Manager
Luis Ambriz, Director of Donors & Grants
Maryela Perez, Performing Arts Curator
Alyssarhaye Graciano, Visual Arts Curator
Ruben Escalante, Teen Tech Center Director
Angelica Torres, Pathways Program Director
Earl Leal, Lighting & Sound Technician
Lee Oscar Gomez-Hernandez, Gallery Associate
Fernanda Loreto, Gallery Associate
Richard Contreras, Chair
Consuelo Cervantes, Vice Chair
Bob Brownstein, Treasurer
Barbara Goldstein, Secretary
Veronica Juarez, At-Large