Immigration issue takes center stage in 'Detained in the Desert'

Immigration has been a hot button issue, particularly since the new immigration laws passed in Arizona. In Southern California, the immigration issue is taking center stage at several theaters.

L.A. writer and theater director Josefina Lopez is a founder of Casa 0101. The theater sits in the heart of Boyle Heights.

Lopez gained broad recognition as the writer of the play and then the film "Real Women Have Curves." She also wrote the novel “Hungry Woman in Paris.”

Now she has written the play called "Detained in the Desert." It brings together an unlikely pair: a conservative radio talk show host and a Mexican-American young woman who is a U.S. citizen.

Lopez explained that the immigration issue is very personal to her. KPCC's Shirley Jahad talked with Lopez at popular Boyle Heights Mexican restaurant La Serenata De Garibaldi. Lopez says her parents brought her to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 5 years old. She says she didn’t realize she was undocumented until she was 10 or 11 years old and her parents told her not to let anyone else know she was without papers.

The play "Detained in the Desert" has been extended to Nov. 21. It is being performed Friday through Sunday evenings at Casa 0101, 2009 East 1st St. in Boyle Heights.

Audio: KPCC’s Shirley Jahad met up with Lopez at a Boyle Heights restaurant just down the street from the theater to talk about the play.

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