10 Years Of DACA In Story & Song (Bilingual)

To reflect on the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known DACA, created in 2012 to provide two-year deferred deportation, a work permit, and increased opportunity for higher education for children brought without documentation.

Rossana Longo-Better spoke with Motus Theater founder and artistic director Kirsten Wilson and partnerships & project manager and monologist Armando Peniche.

A Public Affair in English:

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    10 Years Of DACA In Story & Song (Bilingual) Rossana Longo-Better

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Pasa La Voz in Spanish:

Para reflexionar sobre el décimo aniversario de la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia conocida como DACA, creada en 2012 para proporcionar una deportación diferida de dos años, un permiso de trabajo y mayores oportunidades de educación superior para los niños traídos sin documentación.

Rossana Longo-Better habla con el monologuista y gerente de proyectos de Motus Theater Armando Peniche.

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    10 Years Of DACA In Story & Song (Bilingual) Rossana Longo-Better

(Download Audio)

Ver el Video:

Motus Theater Press Release Above:

Motus Theater has been impacting humane immigration policy at the local and regional level by uplifting poignant personal stories of undocumented leaders since the DACA program began 10 years ago. On the 10th Anniversary of DACA, Motus Theater presents: “UndocuAmerica Monologues: 10 Years of DACA in Story and Song”

 Motus Theater, a nonprofit theater company in Boulder, CO, will reflect on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with poignant and powerful personal stories through monologue, and poetry, music, and visual art.

     “UndocuAmerica Monologues: 10 Years of DACA in Story and Song” will be live on stage, on June 11 at the Boulder Dairy Arts Center and available online across the country on the 10th anniversary of the signing of DACA, June 15th, 2022, through the Rocky Mountain PBS’s YouTube channel site. These performances will be presented in English and Spanish.

       DACA was created to provide a two-year period of deferred deportation, a work permit, and increased opportunity for higher education to children brought to this country without documentation. “Motus has been developing artfully crafted monologues with DACA recipients to uplift the personal experience of people impacted by U.S. immigration policy since DACA’s inception in 2012,” says Kirsten Wilson, Motus Theater founder, and artistic director.


  • Live Performance times are Boulder Dairy Arts Center, June 11, 3 p.m. MST (Spanish)/ 5 p.m. MST (English);

  • Broadcast in English or Spanish available all day, June 15th on Rocky Mountain Public Media’s YouTube channel – register here.


    “These performances aim to encourage thoughtful reflection on DACA and the families who are caught in the crosshairs of U.S. immigration policy,” says Wilson.

     In collaboration with Motus Theater, Colorado Public Radio’s Colorado Matters will broadcast six of the stories from Motus Theater’s Shoebox Stories & Motus Monologues UndocuAmerica podcasts (CPR example). Murals of Motus Theater’s monologists created by Edica Pacha will be displayed across Denver and Boulder with QR codes linking directly to videos of the monologues in English and Spanish.

     Motus Theater’s performances on immigration have followed the trajectory of DACA. Motus started collaborating with DACA recipients in 2012 to develop and present autobiographical monologues in the touring performance Do You Know Who I Am?, which focused on the educational and work challenges facing undocumented youth. This performance, seen by more than 5,000 people, won Motus and the DACA performers Boulder Weekly’s People of the Year award. Motus’s six subsequent performance projects on immigration have reached almost 300,000 people in Colorado and nationally through theater, films, animations and the podcast.

        Armando Peniche, one of the UndocuAmerica monologists, as well as Motus Theater’s partnerships and project manager says, “Motus’ strategic and artful narrative work on immigration has impacted civic society and policy changes in Boulder County and the state of Colorado both directly and indirectly; everything from Boulder becoming a sanctuary city and the first city in the nation to have an undocumented person serve on a city board or commission, to Colorado state policy related to the ability of people who are undocumented to obtain a drivers license.”

      Motus has become known nationally for its collaborations with law enforcement and civic, political, religious, and education leaders who stand in the shoes of undocumented people by reading their stories aloud on stage or as part of Motus Theater’s Shoebox Stories podcast. Notable readers include Police Chief Art Acevedo, actor John Lithgow, World Central Kitchen founder Chef José Andrés, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, former NYT op-ed writer Nicholas Kristof, founder of Latino USA Maria Hinojosa, three Congresspeople, seven Colorado State House leaders, numerous police chiefs, university presidents, judges, rabbis and bishops. Collaborating musicians include Grammy-winning Yo-Yo Ma, Neil Young, Ozomatli and Arturo O’Farrill.

       In 2017, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle was one of eight law enforcement leaders who joined Motus’ undocumented monologists on stage to read their stories aloud in an unprecedented performance viewed by more than 16,000 people. About this experience Sheriff Pelle said, “Standing beside these young people, and reading their stories was moving for all of us and powerful for the audience. But the best experience was learning their stories while we rehearsed and spending personal time interacting with them while we were preparing backstage. Barriers were broken down, relationships formed and mutual respect established. Relationship building like this, using this format, could probably solve a lot of issues in many communities across this country!”

       Award-winning Univision anchor Jorge Ramos added, “I’ve been reporting about immigration for more than 30 years. And I’ve talked to hundreds or thousands of immigrants in my life. But it’s very rare when I can go beyond that first encounter and that first talk about their legal situation in which I can get into their personal story. And this is just what happened. I think that if people in this country would listen to stories like this, and really just take a couple of minutes to digest everything that you said, it’ll be a different story.”

     Motus Theater’s arts-based immigration programming has appeared in the Washington Post, Theater Magazine, NPR, FAST Company Magazine, Ms. Magazine and USA Today. Motus Theater has become, in the words of Anita Khashu, former director of Four Freedoms Fund, “the gold standard for narratives on immigration.”


About Motus Theater

Motus Theater is a theater company and non-profit founded in 2011 whose mission is to create original theater to facilitate dialogue on the critical issues of our time. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Motus Theater tells moving stories that move us forward, using the power of art to build alliances across diverse segments of our community. They are the creators of lauded productions UndocuAmerica, JustUs, Rocks Karma Arrows, and of the Shoebox Stories podcast. Motus Theater was proud to be awarded Best Theater Company Programming 2022 by Westword.

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    10 Years Of DACA In Story & Song (Bilingual) Rossana Longo-Better

Rossana Longo-Better

Rossana Longo-Better


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