Tony Valdovinos was only a 6th grader when he made the decision to join the U.S. Marines after watching the horrors of 9/11. But the day of his 18th birthday, when he walked into a recruitment office to enlist, he discovered something his parents never told him: He was an undocumented immigrant — a so-called “Dreamer”.
Now his life is portrayed in a new off-Broadway musical, “¡Americano!,” which began performances this week at New World Stages in Manhattan, where it opens April 21 after a run at Arizona’s Phoenix Theater Company.
“My story is not unique. My story is that of many individuals in this country who just aspire to do their best for themselves, for their family and loved ones, and their contributions civically back to our society,” Valdovinos said.
“Dreamers” are young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who would benefit from the never-passed DREAM Act, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows them to remain in the country if they meet certain criteria.
“¡Americano!” — starring Sean Ewing as Valdovinos — follows a young man who was brought from Mexico at the age of 2 and was raised in Arizona as a U.S. citizen. His parents never told him the truth about his immigration status because they hoped that it would change by the time he reached adulthood… read more >