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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo According to a LatinX Theatre Project press release, "the 12 performers in 'Scratch That!' take on several roles and build original poetry, music and dance into a scintillating performance." The show was assembled by Ashley Edwards (from material developed by company members) and directed by Michael Landman.

LatinX Theatre Project -- an innovative, experimental theater collective that strives to communicate the youth immigrant experience -- burst on the theatrical scene last year with their vibrant play "Follow Me @ Tio Sam," which detailed the struggles of an immigrant father who is wrestling with the decision to leave the United States and return to Mexico. Now in its second season, the theater troupe returns to the stage with its new production, "Scratch That!"

"We essentially follow a character named Bruno, a young man from Los Angeles," explains actor Damian Dena, who was also in last year's "Follow Me." "He aspires to be a rapper but only wants to speak the truth and do it for the right reasons, instead of doing it for commercial reasons. We meet his other friends, whose stories we track and who are affected by the current-day political and social moment. The story comes to a rather hard-hitting end."


‘Scratch That’

WHEN & WHERE — 7:30 p.m. April 18-19, Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville; 9:30 p.m. April 21, UA Global Campus Theater in Fayetteville; 2 p.m. April 22, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville; 7:30 p.m. April 28 & 2 p.m. April 29, Main Stage in Eureka Springs; 7:30 p.m. May 4-5, Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale

COST — Free


The show will incorporate music, comedy and drama, and it is being performed in a variety of venues: Northwest Arkansas Community College, the UA Global Campus Theatre, Crystal Bridges, Eureka Springs and Arts Center of the Ozarks.

Dena says he believes that art is an important -- and effective -- way to comment on current events.

"You can't be an artist today and not have your work be affected by, or have your work really want to speak to, what's going on right now," he says. "My personal belief is that artists reflect the soul of the city and the heart of society. If there is something wrong or off about what's going on, we're going to reflect it and talk about it, and I think that's important."

In the end, says Dena, the goal is always to make a connection with their audiences.

"We hope we get people to feel something and spark them to maybe get involved, not only with their community, but also with youth in particular," he says. "I really do believe that the next generation is going to save us. We need to invest more and believe more in them."

-- Lara Hightower

NAN What's Up on 04/15/2018

Print Headline: LatinX Theatre Project Communicates, Educates, Inspires

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