Alibi Picks

The Train from Mexico: The Boxcar

L to R: José “Pepe” Gallardo; James R. Chávez; Santiago Candelaria; Ruben Muller
L to R: José “Pepe” Gallardo; James R. Chávez; Santiago Candelaria; Ruben Muller
Alicia Maldonado

After survival, humankind’s deepest fear is to be forgotten. As an existential crisis, it’s heady stuff. Entwined with survival, it makes for a gripping tragic drama. The Boxcar, this month’s installment of the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s (1701 Fourth Street SW) Siembra Festival, rides along with eight men secretly entering the US in a railway boxcar. Based on real events, Silvia González S.’s award-winning play is not historical fiction: Undocumented human trafficking is as here-and-now as you and I. This deeply absorbing elegiac work cuts past depersonalizing rhetoric with a fierce compassion for the human beings involved. Co-presented by Teatro Nuevo México in the NHCC’s intimate Wells Fargo Auditorium, audiences travel inside the boxcar with the men. When the boxcar is abandoned in a siding, the men become phantoms, forgotten except for the imprints they’ve made on the lives of others.

In watching The Boxcar, you become one of those imprinted others, and it could be a rough ride. The cast unanimously agrees they want audiences to cry, and director Salomé Martinez Lutz advises bringing plenty of tissues. The show opens tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 16) at 7:30pm and runs Thursdays through Sundays until Oct. 26; tickets are $18 and $15 for students and seniors. Visit or call the box office at 724-4771 for more info. National Hispanic Cultural Center • Thu Oct 16 • 7:30pm • $15-$18 • View on Alibi calendar