A Stunning Portrayal of Grief, Love, and Family

Review of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Written by Lucas Bolar during an Arts Criticism workshop at Evergreen High School

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Losing a loved one can break you. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a stunning portrayal of grief, love, and family.

The stage for the play is vibrant; the backdrop is a painting of a soaring bird and the lights change depending on the scene. For example, if the scene is taking place in a library the lights are bright white to give a mundane feeling and if the scene takes place at a party the stage is dark but shimmering with bright lights and roaring music in the background.

The play follows a teenager named Julia who tries to connect and figure out her sister Olga after she dies unexpectedly she goes through obstacles with her grieving parents who she feels don’t even really understand her or love her, as well as her own grief over her sister feeling that her life is garbage.

The play's biggest strength comes from the actors. The actress who played Julia brings classic witty teenage dialogue and can follow it up with deeply emotional moments

Even with all these characters with individual personalities played by the same person you can easily tell them apart because the acting is just that good.

But on the other hand, I think the play falls a little bit flat on story pacing, now obviously you can’t take every scene in the book and put it onto play because then you’d just be there forever but there are some parts in the story that don’t feel natural because it feels like somethings missing for example (Spoiler) after Julia attempts to kill herself her parents go on as if nothing has occurred, they don’t even really talk about it and completely move on to the next scene. This is disappointing because we don’t really get to see how characters grow because it feels like Julia doesn't really change throughout the play she just kinda gets what she wants at the end and she’s happy

But another part where the play does really well is it's very relevant and probably a relatable story to a lot of people in many different ways such as struggling with the death of a loved one, trying to find yourself, defying your parents, and other things like Mexican culture.

In conclusion, the play a some great, some good, some okay, and some questionable parts just like any piece of media the strongest parts of the play come from the production acting, sets, and costumes, but for me, the weakest parts come from telling the general story itself not saying it's bad or it's their fault because they are limited due to it being a play and not a full-length film so if I were to rate this play out of 10 I would give the play a 7.4/10 which I think is pretty good and respectable.

Lead photo credit: Jazmín Corona, Karen Rodriguez, Leslie Sophia Pérez, and Eddie Martinez in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at Seattle Rep. Photo by Nate Watters.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

This review was written as part of an Arts Criticism workshop at Evergreen High School in Emily Acquino's Language Arts classes, taught by Press Corps teaching artists Beth Pollack and Marquicia Dominguez.

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