Nov 22, 2019
Courtesy of Theatre Arts

Lives of Dreamers center stage in second fall production


University Theatre will soon present the Central Valley premiere of “Just Like Us” by Karen Zacarías, based on the novel by Helen Thorpe.

The production is directed by Dr. Gina Sandí-Díaz and runs Oct. 26 through Nov. 3, 2018 in the Dennis & Cheryl Woods Theatre in the Speech Arts Building on the Fresno State campus.

Based on the bestselling book, this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls in Denver, two of whom are documented and two whom are not. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities, or lack thereof. When a political firestorm arises, each girl’s future becomes increasingly complicated. 

“Just Like Us poses difficult, yet essential questions about what makes us American.

Sandí-Diaz said, “This documentary drama follows four Latina girls with different immigration status in Denver, Colorado. from 2004 to 2009. Dedicated to doing the right thing, even when faced with adversity, the girls relentlessly pursue the American Dream, even though it seems out of reach and seems to grow farther away with each passing day.”

“This play is an important reminder of the community-building aspect of theater, it encourages us to engage in dialogue, though sometimes difficult, about different topics, perspectives and life experiences. This is a story of resilience and perseverance that will resonate with many people and families in our Central Valley.”

Lisa Kennedy of The Denver Post says “One of the finest things about this wise play… is its generous, even celebratory sense of humor, a plus for a tale that carries with it a great deal of hurt.”

The cast includes Arium Andrews, Diego Barba, Alyssa Burgos, Taylor Cabiero, Cecilia Cantu, Taylor Chavez, Saywa Chuji, Isabel Correa-Gomez, Jose Gomez, Jacob Gonzalez, Jolissa Hernandez, Emily Kearns, Diego Nieves, Tatiana Olguin and Andrew Trevino.

On Oct. 26, 27, 30 and Nov. 3, performances begin at 7:30 p.m.,and on Oct. 28, the play begins at 2 p.m. No late seating, no exceptions.

Tickets are $17 for adults; $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military; and $10 for all students. Children under 5 not admitted. Group rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Box office hours are noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays and one hour before each performance.

Parking is free for shows on Friday through Sunday night. For shows on Tuesday through Thursday night, parking permits are required and can be purchased at dispensers in parking lots on campus.

For more information, contact the box office at 559-278-2216 or


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