El Bracero - May 13 - May 21, 2022

Garfield High School

 Notes from the Playwright 

13 May 2022



Thank you for coming to watch, “El Bracero”.


In 2015, the Irvine Grant Foundation awarded The Visalia Opera Company a grant to fund an original production in a “non traditional” space. My Mom suggested I use the grant to write about the Braceros. I invited my friends from Mariachi Uclaltlan (a student group from UCLA) to accompany the script with mariachi classics, and we hosted the original El Bracero production in The Oval Park in Visalia, California. The Oval is the original center of town, and is notorious for being a dangerous, unwelcoming location. On the day of the show the first 100 people received a bowl of free menudo from the valley’s #1 menudo chef, Mikey V. We ran out of menudo in the first 30 minutes and sold more than 150 additional bowls. During the production we were transported back in time to the era of the Bracero; the audience laughed, cried, shouted and sang along. It was a day I will never forget.


The storyline of El Bracero is a blend of fiction and reality. I borrowed Noe and Julia from the Prado family, who were kind enough to sit with me and share stories about their parents and the struggles the family went through. My own family’s story is interwoven into the fabric of the script, of both my Mother and Father’s side. The script is meant to pay homage to our familias, yours too, for the struggle, for the good times and the bad. I honor the pure tenacity of the human spirit overcoming adversity and finding strength through prayer, song and familia. 


I hope to share a little of what the Braceros endured, and how their lives changed after moving to the United States. Currently in the Prado, Verde and Arambula families, there are teachers, business owners, administrators and doctors. I am proud that the Bracero movement has led to so much valuable enrichment of the United States. May their legacies live on through us. 


I pray as we watch the show together, that a fire is lit in your bellies. A fire to honor those that came before us, to stand on the foundations they built so we can continue to build and foster communities together. May we create a beautiful world full of music and theater, for the generations to come, so that our children’s children will know a time of peace and togetherness. 


Thank you to the team at Garfield High School for producing the show. It is good that theater and mariachi lives on through your work. Mil gracias! 


Enjoy the show!

Rosalinda Verde Alexander

Executive Director

Green Rose Productions, 501c3


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