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DREAMERS PLIGHT: Show Explores the Stories of Undocumented Youth


DCharCreative is the creative portfolio of freelance journalist Danielle Charbonneau. This is a picture on

Raul Pacheco and Ceci Bastida met reporter Danielle Charbonneau in the Annenberg Radio News Station at USC.

Visions & Voices will host Dreaming Sin Fronteras at Bovard Auditorium on October 16. The show uses music, art and theater to explore the narratives of the Dreamers — undocumented youth who dream big, but battle obstacles.

There are approximately 5 million undocumented children and young adults in the U.S., and about a million of them live in California. Most of them have grown up in America their entire lives and consider themselves American, but without legal documentation, are often unable to pursue higher education or legitimate employment. These Dreamers fear deportation and many are actively seeking a pathway to citizenship.

Dreaming Sin Fronteras explores their plight and asks the question: What does it mean to be an American? The show alternates between segments of live music, and monologues that are based on true stories. One of the stories featured in the show is that of Alejandra — a teenage girl from Colorado who was a victim of the Aurora movie theater shooting.

Musically, the show is an interesting collaboration of both Denver and Los Angeles-based artists. Director Antonio Mercado joined forces with Shawn King of Denver-based band DeVotchKa, who connected him with members of the Flobots, Ozomatli, Dialated Peoples and solo artist, Ceci Bastida. Together, the musicians have written some original songs for Dreaming Sin Fronteras, which will be performed at the show and recorded for a national album release.

Visual designs by activist-artist Favianna Rodriguez will create a colorful backdrop for the performance, and audience members will have the opportunity to take photos in front of Rodriquez’s stunning piece, Migration is Beautiful.

Tickets to Dreaming Sin Fronteras are free, but reservations are strongly recommended. You can RSVP here. The show is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 16 at Bovard Auditorium.

This is a radio segment I produce in October of 2014 for Annenberg Radio News.