On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto
A Stockton Premier, written and directed by Paul S. Flores
Loco Bloco, a non-profit performing arts organization, along with playwright Paul S. Flores, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, and Delta College Cultural Awareness Programs (CAPS), present the touring final full production of On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto, Friday, April 21, 8 p.m. at Atherton Auditorium – FREE with RSVP, http://bit.ly/othstockton.
ABOUT THE PLAY
Directed by renowned playwright Paul Flores, On the Hill tells the story of the impact of the death of Alex Nieto in San Francisco. The play explores the consequence Nieto’s death had on youth of color in San Francisco neighborhoods. The project uses music, dance and theater as a powerful tool for communities divided by issues of police violence, racism, gentrification and economic disparity.
On the Hill examines ways to dialogue and discover opportunities and solutions for healing and unification. Through their interpretation of death and life, On the Hill's young actors incorporate spoken word, bilingual theater, drum, dance and video projection to retell the story of Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill in March 2014. The production is co-directed by Eric Reid.
Director and playwright Flores also brought his play PLACAS to Delta College last year. It was a huge success with almost 1000 in attendance.
In July 2015, On The Hill project director Paul S. Flores and Loco Bloco’s Musical Director, Pedro Gomez, facilitated story collection and interviews utilizing Native American and Latino cultural practices from individuals directly connected to Alex Nieto, including his parents, siblings, friends as well as people who did not know Alex personally but have been impacted by his death (including members of the Justice for Alex Coalition, law enforcement officers, local activists and residents of San Francisco neighborhoods).
Loco Bloco’s youth-artists utilized documentary theater techniques to develop true stories into staged narratives. This courageous artistic practice teaches the critically important lessons of empathy, as well as teaching the humility necessary to unite communities divided by class, race and culture.
On March 26, 2016, the company presented preview scenes of On The Hill, which left members of the community impressed by the power of the eclectic ensemble that portrayed the story. “The play has shown me how Alex Nieto has become a symbol for what is happening in this community,” Says Sue Kuyper, a local community cultural worker and preview audience member. “The loss of Alex is connected to the loss we feel for this community.”
Refuigio and Elvira Nieto, Alex’s parents, also attended the preview. “It surprises me always how much the cast knows about my son, Alex,” said Refugio, who noted that it is important for young people to understand that working together can "help a community grow."
Elvira Nieto was profoundly moved by the performance. “The death of my son has awakened the community to unite . . . because if not, all our sons would be killed.” Elvira finished, “In the beginning,
the play made me want to cry, reliving the memory of the loss of my son . . . but I am so grateful that these young people remember my son.”
Play Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jSGy-BnX-U
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