Un Carol de Independence
After a request by the Mayor of the City of Independence, John McArdele, Sanctuary Stage embarked on creating an original bi-lingual play focusing on the lives, experiences and challenges of Latino families in the City of Independence.  Un Carol de Independence was developed through a community engaged play-making process with information obtained from story-circles, interviews and public forums. This project was in collaboration with the City of Independence, Department of Latino Outreach and the residents of Independence.

Our objective was to involve over 900 Polk County residents to participate in the creation and performance of a new play about the Latino culture and history in the City of Independence.  We expect that this project will strengthen inter-generational and cross-cultural relationships between those from different professions, ages, cultures and economic backgrounds. This project also provided sustainability for future community arts projects within the city through the professional training in community based theater-making for community members, artists and social justice advocates from within the city. 

When working on this type of project the structure can be a difficult thing. Do we create an entirely original play or do we adapt some kind of pre-exisiting story? This is one aspect of the project that proved elusive. There was so much robust information which caused it to be a challenging effort to find the right story. Throughout our workshops with our new ensemble, they expressed a clear interest in wanting to see the past, present and future in regards to their lives  in the City of Independence. How do we tell that story? What vehicle will allow us to go from past, present to future. The answer soon became very clear to us. We would adapt the structure of A Christmas Carol as the basis for our storytelling.

  • Synopsis:
Burdened by a cascade of recent traumas, Carolina's anguish spills over onto her family and those around her. Against the backdrop of the night preceding Independence, Oregon's annual Community Fiesta, she encounters a succession of spectral visitors. The first ghost unveils her familial roots, transporting her to a Bracero camp on the outskirts of Independence and revealing the poignant moment her grandparents first crossed paths in the fields. The second apparition exposes the toil and strife endured by her parents as they navigated the complexities of work, family, and finances.
It's the third and final ghost, embodying her abuelo, who delivers the most profound revelation. Peering into a future tinged with bitterness and solitude, he warns Carolina of the perilous path she treads, one that threatens to sever her bonds with everything and everyone she holds dear.
Through these haunting encounters, Carolina embarks on a journey towards inner peace, ignited by a fervent longing to reconnect with her fractured world.




Our ensemble doing some table work with the script.

Community Partners and Sponsors