Somewhere, by Marisela Treviño Orta, World Premiere, Temple University, February 2020
Photo by Joseph V. Labolito
Additional documentation can be found in "Finding 'Somewhere': the making of a Temple Theaters play," by Edirin Oputu
Developing a new play is an exercise in adaptibility. Though you know changes are coming, you have to commit to the world as it is right now. You can prepare for change in general—by cultivating flexibility and openness—but not for the precise edits and adjustments. When the changes come, you have to see the world anew, as a world that includes these words or ideas or images, when moments before it didn’t.
This is the exercise the characters in Somewhere find themselves compelled to undertake as well, and as a result the play speaks to what often gets lost in the crisis of crisis: the persistent human drive to make meaning and find purpose. Though our current moment undoubtedly calls for swift global action, I would suggest it also calls for this play and its gentle suggestion that survival may mean changing in ways we can’t presently imagine. Who are we now and who might we have to become when circumstances change? What sort of willingness to play at other ways of life might we need to embrace? How might decentering ourselves, (though not, perhaps, quite in the way the play imagines) and accepting the necessity of building the world anew, make possible the kind of radical transformation we will have to undergo if we want to survive? More importantly, what is needed if we want survival to be worthwhile? What, as one character asks, are we surviving for?