Seattle Rep’s New Play Es Perfecto

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

Written by Jasmine Torres Mayorquin during an Arts Criticism workshop at Evergreen High School

Screen Shot 2023 03 07 at 3 04 34 PM

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is an exceptional play. It showed angst, delight, and a roller coaster of emotions. Along with a beautiful set and a hand on the back with the stage crew.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is a play put on by the Seattle Repertory Theatre, it puts you in the shoes of 15-year-old Julia Reyes, who is dealing with the death of her sister Olga and the pressure to be "the perfect Mexican daughter." A brilliant interpretation of a Mexican household and an emotionally strong play.

The play follows Julia, an angsty high school student in Chicago. She struggles to prove who she is rather than who she is not. Her dream of becoming a writer, along with her sister's death takes her on a journey of discovery.

The play begins with a funeral where the lights are dimmed and Olga is raised from the casket, looking as if her soul is being sucked out of her. This scene captures the audience’s attention and piques interest in what’s to come. Another memorable scene is Julia’s dream when Olga is turned into a mermaid, I especially liked how there were bubbles in the background and how Julia and Olga's characters were pretending to swim while the bottom of the stage moved them in a clockwise rotation. When Olga was moving further and further from Julia, you could feel yourself screaming for her to come back as well.

The second scene I'd like to address is when Julia's father is shown cased to be worried for her, something we haven't seen from him at all in the book or the play. I'm really glad that the book and play show suicide awareness, it's very common in most teens, unfortunately. Throughout the play, it has tons of real-world situations which I love. The message was received in my opinion.

Lastly, one of my favorite scenes and not because it was exciting, but because when I read this part in the book I imagined how Julia reacted, and Karen Rodriguez dominated that scene. In the conversation between her and Tia Fermina about what happened to her parents when crossing the border she executed, and she gave a performance. When she screams "took her where?" live, it gave chills down my back and I was so intrigued. Something I'd like to make you aware of is things like this and worse happen around the Mexican border and I was surprised when they went too graphic with this storyline.

Overall, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was a successful play, it brought the lives of many teens in a Hispanic household alive. I especially think bringing Hispanic families to this with their kids could spark conversations and new perspectives on how they might not be letting their children grow.

Lead photo credit: Karen Rodriguez and Sofía Raquel Sánchez 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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