Upcoming production “No Roosters in the Desert” to provoke immigration discussion


Genesis Canty, Christina George and Chris Cortez rehearsing a scene from the upcoming play “No Roosters in the Desert”.

Ryan Heppel, Staff Writer

Coming this March the Mesa College Theatre Company will be performing a rendition of Kara Hartzler’s “No Roosters in the Desert”. Hartzler, a San Diego local and well known immigration lawyer, will be working with the company and will be in discussions after the show. Chris Cortez, a member of the theater company, stated the synopsis of this play in her own words, “Well, just it’s for Women (sic)…South American women trying to cross into the U.S. border and it talks about each of their stories and their struggles and their reasons for coming and they all have different reasons”


The play, a fictional account of several stories from women who came into the U.S. illegally, raises a few questions that the players challenge the audience to answer.


“I think it has a lot of information that has to do with immigration…but I mean if it’s just an overall ‘How can this story connect to everyone’s life?’” Genesis Canty, one of the actresses performing in this upcoming play, said that this was the overarching theme of the performance. ”I think there’s a big message in there that has to do ‘What does it take to get what we want, and is it worth it?’ And I think that’s a huge message that a lot of people can relate to and have them go home and think about it.”

Daniel Worlds, another player acting as one of the interviewers in the play, fears that immigrants get bunched together with no consideration to their own personal thoughts and feelings. “To people who don’t do any research into the topic or anything like that, sure. It’s just a word ‘Immigration’ and this kind of humanizes it…puts a face (for) the people going through this, and I think that’s one of the great things about (‘No Roosters in the Desert’) is that it’s going to humanize it,” Daniel said. He hopes that this play can help people analyze their personal beliefs and see the perspective of the group in question, “I think this play is going to be a good opportunity to at least bring up the topic of immigration between the people who see it and just start a dialogue between people who agree and disagree about the issues with immigration.”

Cortez elaborated on the humanizing aspects of the performance and criticized the general populations’ lack of empathy to a group of people with little representation, “ I think it, uh, it’ll open their eyes to the struggle of it all and almost the harsh realities people face coming into this country and um I also think it gives them a sense of these are actual people, you know, I think a lot of Americans become numb to what it is. What an immigrant (is) you know there’s a lot of talk about them stealing jobs and a lot of negativity that comes with talking about immigration. This kind of gives them an insight to their actual feelings and emotions and their personal struggles and I think a lot of people can just relate in general. So, I think it just makes it more real…just brings the characters to life, these immigrants, tells their stories…”

The performance and subsequent debate afterward will surely get students thinking and cast a fresh new light on the immigration argument. Be sure to catch “No Roosters in the Desert” this March 6th through 15th at the theater. Cortez’s closing remarks could put the whole play in a perspective anyone can relate to, “ A huge topic of the story is ‘How far would you go to give your children a better life?’ I think we’re all here for too is to just live a better life…”