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‘posdata (or what I wish I said):’ A play for El Paso by El Paso

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Annabella Mireles
“Posdata (Or What I Wish I Said)” was inspired by stories of people from El Paso, TX which also featured an immersive art installation by Laura Turón.

By the end of the play, postcards were lying across the floor underneath the bright-colored stage lights as some had wishes, others with regrets. At the end of the night, the audience left knowing they matter and so does their city. “posdata (or what I wish I said)” is a play that made its first stage appearance last Tuesday, leaving theatergoers with a new sense of identity.   

The play was written by Georgina Hernandez Escobar, former visiting professor of practice and playwright at UTEP’s Department of Theatre and Dance. It was also a collaboration with Kim McKean, the school’s former director of theatre. After the idea came about during the pandemic, the two began working on it until it finally made its debut in the June Sadowski Kruszewski Studio Theatre.  

“It’s about really respecting our people as a whole and telling the story as authentically as possible while incorporating the history of El Paso,” said Mia Flores, who played the character Ruthie in the play. “I truly believe it’s about representation of El Paso and just told through the eyes of the people that live day to day in our city.”  

A representation of El Paso’s past and present, the play showed the audience two separate dynamics of the city. The parts that portray the past tell the story of Remo Guillén, who discovers postcards from the future during a time of war in Mexico. He deals with the troubles of being in love with a married woman, Esther Jones-Fontana, whose family photography business he works for.   

The future timeline shows five high school students locked in the same building as the business in the present, trying to produce a pitch to win the scholarship contest they participated in. While the two timelines show characters from different areas and backgrounds in El Paso, the play brings them together in a way that is relatable for everyone watching.  

“It truly represents everyone no matter what side of town you’re from, even if you’re not from El Paso,” Flores said. “I would have to say it really doesn’t center around one main character because everyone helps each other shine in a way.”  

Not only was this play a representation, but interactive. The postcards in the play were written by El Pasoans from across the city and integrated into parts of the play. In telling the stories of the characters, the play manages to tell the stories of ordinary people who walk around the mall or drive by on I-10.   

“We have these postcards from around the city that people from around El Paso got to fill out and their postcards are in the script,” said Fern Trousdale, the play’s costume designer. “It was written with the intent to have El Paso natives and people who live here and have experienced El Paso culture. It is cool that it was written for us, and we are originating a lot of these costume designs, scenic designs, and roles.”  

Coming purely from the imagination of UTEP professionals, the play puts El Paso culture and life into the limelight for those native to the city and others who have never known it otherwise. From the past to the present, the play shows everyone how important it is to not only embrace themselves, but the city they come from.  

“As an outsider to El Paso, ‘posdata’ illustrates the preconceptions that one’s origins could have,” said Melissa Aviles, a theatre education major from Houston and assistant costume designer for the show. “But the wonderful, hopeful thing is that those biases will be thrown at the wayside when helping others. I also believe the show does a great job in representing El Paso’s ‘small town’ vibes with city-specific references.”  

The play will have tour dates spanning from Oct. 26 to Oct. 29 at a variety of venues and all shows will have free admission. For more information on tour dates and locations visit https://www.utep.edu/liberalarts/theatre-dance/about/prices.html   

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter
Elisha Nuñez is a multimedia journalism student with a minor in marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He works as a reporter for The Prospector, and loves to write about arts, culture, and people. This semester, he wishes to do more freelance work for publications in and outside of El Paso. After graduation, he would like to experience multiple positions at different places, and even has plans for continuing his current education outside of the U.S.
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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