This month, Cal Shakes embarks on a satirical crash course in U.S. immigration relations with its staging of Culture Clash’s original play, American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose. It’s the story of a Mexican immigrant who, on the eve of his U.S. citizenship exam, has a fever dream that sends him back in time, where he meets historical figures both famous and obscure and discovers the true(ish) legacy of America. Here is our take on the cultural antecedents that influenced the play.
June 1–23, calshakes.org
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of San Francisco.