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SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts Dallas Initiative and Cara Mía Theatre Co. Launch Tour of Acclaimed Play "Deferred Action," Sept. 14-17

Free Community Conversation will be held Sept. 16 to discuss the DREAM Act, immigration reform and Latinos in politics

SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Ignite/Arts Dallas initiative and the Cara Mía Theatre Co. are co-presenting a touring version of Deferred Action, the acclaimed play about immigration originally produced and premiered at Dallas Theater Center in 2016. The play will launch its tour in North Texas with four performances at the Meadows School’s Bob Hope Theatre, September 14-17, followed by appearances at the University of North Texas in Denton, the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Talento Bilingüe de Houston in Houston and the Encuentro de las Americas International Theatre Festival in Los Angeles. The touring production, the first ever undertaken by Cara Mía, was commissioned by Ignite/Arts Dallas and is sponsored by the Dallas-based Latino Center for Leadership Development.

The play’s central character is Javier Mejía, one of the immigrants known as DREAMers who arrived in the U.S. as an undocumented minor. Now, after years in the States, he finds himself caught in the tangle of existing immigration laws, new presidential policies and the harsh reality of living in the shadows. Javier hopes that temporary administrative mechanisms like Deferred Action will be the answer to his dilemma. But will hope be snatched away? Can politicians who say they are the Dreamers’ friends be trusted? Deferred Action follows the lives of those who dare to dream and the loopholes and dangers they face. The play was written by David Lozano, Cara Mía executive artistic director, and Lee Trull, Dallas Theater Center director of new play development. It will be directed by Lozano and feature Cara Mía actors and other local and national professional performers.

In addition, on Saturday, September 16 at 4:30 p.m., a free Community Conversation event will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre to discuss issues raised in the play. The event, sponsored by the Embrey Family Foundation, will feature a panel and open discussion with members of Cara Mía Theatre about the lives of DREAMers, immigration reform, and current national, state and local policies surrounding undocumented immigrants. Attendees are invited to stay afterward for a complimentary meal provided by Chipotle. Admission to the Community Conversation is free and no reservations are required.

Presenting touring works is one of the goals of Ignite/Arts Dallas, which launched at SMU Meadows in 2015 to integrate artistic practice and community engagement involving SMU, Dallas and the arts field at large.

“Under the leadership of David Lozano and Ariana Cook, Cara Mía has grown significantly as a local theater company over the last five years,” said Clyde Valentín, Ignite/Arts Dallas director. “This production of Deferred Action offers the company a unique chance to share their work across Texas and the country. Creating this opportunity for a local group of artists aligns with our goals to amplify work emerging from Dallas, which is increasingly being recognized as a vibrant cultural hub in its own right.”

At every step of the tour, Cara Mía Theatre will partner with the North Texas Dream Team (a nonprofit led by immigrant youth) and other local partners on community action programs to engage on issues surrounding the DREAM Act, immigration reform and Latinos in politics.

“My original vision for Cara Mía Theatre was to work with a core ensemble and create new plays that speak to the here and now of our city,” said director Lozano. “Who else could create necessary theatre for our immediate community other than the artists who live here? With this touring production, we hope to simultaneously provoke audiences through live theatre and inspire greater dialogue, understanding and civic action in partnership with regional collaborators. We are grateful to Ignite/Arts Dallas for making it possible.”

Deferred Action will be presented at the Bob Hope Theatre in the Meadows School’s Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-16, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff, and are available online at; tickets will also be available through the Cara Mía box office in the Hope Theatre lobby one hour before each performance. The show contains mature themes that include the use of drugs and theatrical semi-automatic gunshots, and strong language in both English and Spanish. For tickets and more information, contact Cara Mía Theatre at 214-516-0706 or

About Cara Mía Theatre Co.

Cara Mía Theatre Co. (CMTC) presents live accessible theatre by producing critically acclaimed published plays and creating new and experimental works while developing innovative and educational youth arts programming reflective of the Latino experience in the U.S.

Eliberto Gonzalez co-founded CMTC in 1996 because he believed that Latino literature and its writers ought to be more accessible to the general public. With Adelina Anthony, Gonzalez started the company as a vehicle to bring the Chicano/Latino U.S. experience to local stages in Dallas. Since then, the cultural breadth of CMTC’s plays has expanded, and the company’s artistic approach has simultaneously evolved. To expand the company’s reach to non-theatre-going Latinos, CMTC began to focus on creating original bilingual plays that were both topical and theatrically unique. In 2009, CMTC formed a resident artistic ensemble that devised new works in the form of clown and mask performance, poetic movement and topical, issue-driven plays that speak to the experiences of the local Latino community in Dallas. Today, CMTC boasts a 15-member resident artistic ensemble that creates new works and also produces classic plays by the most acclaimed Latino playwrights in the nation.

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