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New L.A. play looks at Arizona immigration law

September 1, 2010 |  4:55 pm

Los Angeles writer Josefina Lopez, whose autobiographical play was made into an acclaimed HBO movie, has written a new play protesting Arizona's controversial immigration law. Detained in the Desert

"Detained in the Desert" is the tale of a dark-skinned Latina, who is a U.S. citizen, and a radio host who uses his show to promote hate. Their lives converge in the Arizona desert after the Latina is arrested for refusing to show her identification papers to a police officer.

Lopez said she felt obligated to write the play as a way of speaking out against the Arizona law, which requires police to determine the status of people they  lawfully stop and subsequently suspect of being in the country illegally. Key provisions of the law have been placed on hold by a federal judge pending a legal challenge by the Obama administration.

"I was undocumented for 13 years, and I allowed myself to be dehumanized by believing for a while that documents made me a real human being and not my soul," said Lopez, who wrote "Real Women Have Curves," which was based on her experiences growing up on Los Angeles' Eastside. "It's my time in history to act and speak up."

The play will be performed at Lopez's CASA 0101 Theater at 2009 E. 1st St. in Boyle Heights beginning October 1.

--Robert J. Lopez