Abandonado Director’s Note:
When my father died, the version of the world in which I lived was flipped on its head and everything was different. After my father’s death my perspective of him changed and I realized how much he had influenced my life: for the better and the worse. I realized that there was so much I didn’t know about him, and yet I knew him well. I wondered what it would have been like to never have known him at all. I decided to look at the world through the eyes of someone who never knew her father. I focused on a girl losing her father to deportation.
Whereas death is a natural part of life, deportation isn’t. Because I live in two languages in my daily life, I decided to write a piece that dances the line between those languages, but is also divided between two worlds: an imagined reality, and a changing reality.
I hope you enjoy this journey of dancing the lines between memory and perspective, fantasy and reality, dreams and fears, and ultimately love and healing.
Heaven’s Resources Director’s Note:
I’ve always been inspired by Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera, and other wacky cartoons during my childhood. I remember I used to wake up early just to get my cartoon fix before going to school. Then I’d repeat the jokes I hear to the classroom and see who thought I was funny. I would do anything to get a laugh. My mom would get mad at me for coming home looking like I rolled down a dirt hill into a dirt field because she knew… that I was rolling around down a dirt hill into a dirt field because it was funny.
Everyone has their own interpretation of Heaven, and this play is mine. My Nana passed away when I was around fifteen years old. Shortly after she passed, I remember having this dream where she and I had a conversation over the phone. I asked her, “What’s heaven like Nana?”, and she replied, “It’s fun. But I’m very busy.”
Then I grew up and starting doing jobs that required a ton of operations and thought, “This must be what my Nana was talking about.”
I hope you enjoy this story. I had a ton of fun writing it and working with the team on how to get those Looney Tunes vibes on the stage!
Disclaimer: The views expressed about heaven and death are purely fictional and should not be interpreted as an attack or a ‘dis’ with anyone’s beliefs or religious doctrines.
Christy Drogosch: Director and Writer for Abandonado
Christy has been active in Portland theater for 20 years. She began the Teatro Español Program at Teatro Milagro where she directed a deconstructed version of Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna, Nilo Cruz’s Ana en el Trópico, and Fernando de Rojas’ La Celestina. She most recently directed Caridad Svich’s En el Tiempo de las Mariposas. A hearty thank you to the entire creative and administrative team at The Chapel Theatre for supporting this work. Thank you especially to Illya for your unlimited support and energy on this project. Thank you Jonathan for being the best ever teammate. I am lucky indeed to have had this experience.
Jonathan Hernandez: Director and Writer for Heaven’s Resources and Actor
Jonathan powered through the pandemic by performing in virtual stage readings, writing short plays, and helping artists hone their craft. Last year he created Kaleidoscope Radio: a podcast where he talks about storytelling and developing meaning. Currently he is one of the resident playwrights for the Northwest Theater Workshop 2021/2022 season, and will continue to showcase new short plays with Pulp Stage. A special thank you to Chapel Theatre for supporting my words and a special shout out to the crew and designers for making my vision come to life.
Joseph Bertot, Actor
This marks his second appearance at The Chapel Theatre and he is so happy to be back. Joseph Bertót was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in South Florida. He graduated from Hialeah High School and attended Miami Dade Community College with a full musical theatre scholarship. He left college to pursue acting full time and worked for more than 20 theatres in Florida before branching into film, television, puppetry and voiceover work.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2001 as a regular cast member on Nickelodeon’s award-winning Taina. In his twelve years in Los Angeles, he performed on TV, film, and in commercials, working with such directors and actors as Paul Haggis, Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Perry, James Caan, and the Duplass brothers on HBO’s Togetherness. Bertót currently lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, where one bowling alley just isn’t enough.
Upon landing in Oregon he had the good fortune of appearing on NBC’s Grimm as the recurring character Detective Pogue. Other television credits include Portlandia, and The Librarians, and film features include Green Room, Lorne Michaels- produced Brother In Laws, and Lean On Pete. Most recently Joseph will appear on Netflix’s Metal Lords, and please check out his latest feature Lorelei on AppleTV or Amazon. The film premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival and showcases local talent both in front ofand behind the camera. It’s a wonderful film.
Most importantly thank you to my beautiful family for their love and support.
Yolanda Porter, Actor
Yolanda Porter is a Hispanic and bilingual actress, graduate of Portland Actors Conservatory. She’s been a part of productions like In the Time of the Butterflies, The Taming of the Shrew, All My Sons, and Opción Múltiple. Mom of a ten-year-old girl, adventure seeker, avid reader, and excellent baker. She’s grateful and proud to be back on the stage as a part of this great production.
Enrique Andrade, Performer (Voiceover)
Enrique E. Andrade, originally from Mexico City, is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a double major in Spanish Literature and Philosophy, and a minor in Political Science. Enrique started his work as a Staff Interpreter II with the OJD in 2001. Beyond balancing a busy courthouse docket in his work station in Washington County, Enrique has performed in numerous local theater productions in the Portland area since 2008. Enrique has performed in Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires at the Aspen Festival of Music in 2005 and 2007 as well as with 3rd Angle Music Ensemble, in TNT’s Leverage as Professor Humberto Garcia, Grimm, and the Librarians. Enrique is well known for being the Spanish voice of the MAX and participates as a volunteer and board member of different community organizations.
Yasmin Wigfall, Stage Manager
Yasmin Wigfall has been in stage management for eight years professionally. Working as a jack of all trades behind the scenes, she has worked as a light board operator, costume assistant, electrician, rigger, and stage management. Being a mainly Portland native, she started in the theater scene as stagehand while she was in college and hasn’t stopped since! This is her first production with Chapel Theater and her second time working with Christy.
Dug Martell, Sound and Lighting Designer
Dug Martell is currently the lighting manager at Chapel Theatre. He is also the resident Lighting Designer for Trip the Dark Dance Company and The Chapel Theatre Collective. Thank you for coming and enjoy the show!
Amber Black, Costume Designer
Amber Black is a costume designer living in Portland, Oregon. Amber started her career working in post-production, moving from behind the studio to preferring to build and create with her hands. Her work ranges from theater and performance to couture exhibits and individual commissions. Being open to different art forms inspires Amber to mix mediums together to create new styles and open costuming as works of art and storytelling. Geek Couture and Wearable Art are her two primary areas of focus. Amber has been a finalist in SHIFT: An Experiment in Fashion Design. She will be working on a number of custom builds, gallery showings and tv and film productions this coming year along with stage productions with the Chapel Theatre Collective, Stageworks Ink and Stumptown Theatre.
English Version of the Film:
I was standing on the beach.
With my memories.
I didn’t really know my dad.
He didn’t know anything about my childhood.
He left before I was 5 years old.
My dad…Who was he?
Looking in the rearview mirror I see myself. I see myself…
My dad abandoned me. He abandoned me because women are meaningless.
They’re insignificant. Women and little girls aren’t worth listening to.
Girls are just girls and have no conscience of what’s happening in their lives.
This is what my mother told me.
She taught me that men never really love you. They will love you until they no
longer need you. They will always abandon you.
She married another man, but he left her too.
I was abandoned again.
I was a lonely little girl.
My dad never returned.
I never knew anything about his life.
He was a ghost to me.
But I dreamed…
I dreamed about a life with him, about a father who loved me.
I didn’t know why my dad left my life so suddenly,
nor why my mother never mentioned it.
I only understood that he went somewhere else.
A place very far from our house.
All my mother did was tell me that he had to leave, and that he left.
But, why…Why? Why did he have to abandon me? Why did he abandon his daughter?
I know that my dad had a dog when he was a boy.
My mom told me this.
I know my dad as a little boy.
To me, he’s 5 years old. The same age I was when he left.
I only remember his round and friendly face, his smile,
his strong arms that held me a few times, his sweet voice…
But that’s a fantasy.
I didn’t know him.
Now the few memories I have of him are fading.
In my memory he is a young boy frozen in my mind.
A boy with a dog. A boy in my imagination.
A boy who was born to be my dad who loved me and didn’t leave me.
I always dreamed of a life with my father.
A life in which he gave me advice, direction, cared for me.
I saw other children playing with their dads on the beach.
I saw the dads putting their children on their shoulders and
laughing and laughing.
I wanted to laugh with my dad.
I wanted to know the voice of my dad, his laugh.
My dad abandoned me. Abandonment is forever.
The lost time is forever.
I only know him in my imagination.
He had a dog once.
I had a dad…
until I didn’t.