by Yani Perez . . .
Truckers, by Mariana Carreño King and sensitively directed by Alfredo Narciso, officially opened March 6th at Intar Theatre. The play explores various meanings of freedom: individual, institutional and spiritual. With elements of magical realism and beings that connect with the supernatural, the play centers on what it means to dream, hope and aspire while acknowledging the past and respecting those that have passed.
The play begins with two truckers, Mayor (Jorge Chapa) and Lollipop (Yadira Correa), waiting at a truck stop for their following directives. As they wait, they banter about life and family. Lollipop tells Mayor the game she used to play with her brothers while traveling on the road with their father. They would track the colors of cars until a yellow vehicle passed. The yellow car symbolized a free for all punching fest amongst each other. She replaced the punching and her brothers with a metal barrel and fire at the truck stop. When she saw a yellow car, she placed her hands in the fire for a few seconds before pulling away. Her actions, although a child’s game, is reflective of the pain she holds, only releasing when she feels even more pain. Correa’s performance is organic and heartfelt.
As the play progresses, the audience is introduced to a handful of eccentric characters: Freckles (Jesse Castellanos), their fellow trucker with decomposing bodies in his truck. Charlie (Jacqueline Guillén), the truck stop cashier that communicates with dead people and Endina (Christine Bruno), the elderly stowaway that, also has a special connection with the dead. The cast’s performance highlighted the theme in different and compelling styles offering an honest and engaging delivery.
The characters remain at the pit stop that is realistically yet inventively designed by Raul Abrego. Surrounded by death in the cargo they carry, they begin to share stories about loss and sadness. They discuss the possibility of freedom and what it looks like for them and their shipment. However, the actual physical and emotional loads they carry are substantial. Can they find peace? Their world then opens up to mystical, paranormal occurrences. Stepping into the world of magical realism, the play ends with a beautiful image as a symbol of hope, healing and closure.
Costume design is by Harry Nadal. The subtle lighting design by Dalia Sevilla.
Truckers runs from February 25 to March 26. Intar is located at 500 W 52nd St, 4th floor, between 10th and 11th avenue. For tickets and more information, visit https://www.intartheatre.org/