Rogue 2017: Somebody’s Children

Mar 4, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Theatre

by Mallory Lutz

The 2017 Rogue Festival is here! KRL has been featuring several Rogue Performer Preview articles over the last few weeks, and this is the final one. You can find all of the Preview articles, & an interview with this year’s Festival director about this year’s festival, in our Arts & Entertainment section.
We will be reviewing many of the shows, and we may even do some more video interviews. Check out our Rogue Performer event page for more information as it becomes available, and you can also check out the Rogue 2017 website.

In our era of “fake news,” it is refreshening to find an online article that actually serves only to enlighten and educate its audience. New Hope for Motel Kids by Bianna Golodryga, Yahoo News and Finance Anchor, was a wonderful expose on families living in motels in the shadow of The Happiest Place on Earth. The piece spoke not of welfare cases, but rather, of families with two parents working full-time and still not being able to afford better housing. It spoke of entire families packed into single bed units. It spoke of living conditions so dire that motel management forbid the children to play outside in the parking lot. Most of all, it spoke to my heart.rogue

I immediately remembered an amazing theater piece by the playwright Jose Casas entitled Somebody’s Children. It was at American Alliance for Theatre and Education conference in San Francisco that I first discovered Casas’s work. Coincidentally, he was receiving an award for Best Play, while Shine! Theatre was there to receive the award for Most Outstanding New Children’s Theatre in the U.S. Accordingly, his publisher insisted that we “simply must work together!” Well, five years later it finally happened!

Meet five homeless teenagers who live with their families under horrific conditions at El Dorado, a rundown motel, like many others in this area of Anaheim, California. These families must deal with gang violence, drugs, and prostitution, while city officials do little to rectify the situation. Their lives are a heart-wrenching challenge, where home is only a temporary reality. These youth tell us their stories in a series of vignettes, painting a picture of life, struggle, and the cruel reality they must endure to survive, and while living in the shadow of Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth. Yet, they take time to share their dreams, a reminder to us that hope can still exist even under the harshest conditions.

Don’t miss this unforgettable drama from Shine! Theatre with a cast of five extraordinary young actors and directed by Artistic Director, Tony Sanders.

VISTA Theatre
1296 N. Wishon Ave.
Fresno, CA 93728
March 4 at 3:30 p.m.
March 5, 9, 10 at 6:30 p.m.
March 11 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 at the door or at


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