Set in 1979 on the desert border between the United States and Mexico, Anywhere But Here is a psycho-social-spiritual-physical journey that represents the inner turmoil of exile. The play’s main character is an eleven-year-old girl being driven from Canada to Chile by her father in a convertible, along with her twelve-year-old sister. On a mission to refute their refugee status, the trio meets a roster of vivid characters from the 1800s, their present-day reality of the 1970s, and a future timeline in 2020. Following the non-linear, visceral nature of memory itself, the play pays homage to the rich history of magical realism in Latin American literature as its characters attempt to cross and guard borders — surviving what was left behind and all that is still to come.
The stellar cast is a borderless group comprised of Augusto Bitter, Alen Dominguez, Alexandra Lainfiesta, Shawn Lall, Nadeem Phillip, Christine Quintana, Michelle Rios, AJ Simmons, and Manuela Sosa. All of these gifted actors have a direct connection to immigration as first- or second-generation immigrants to Canada with roots in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Pakistan.
Vancouver based composer and percussionist Joelysa Pankanea serves as music director. Juno Award-winning hip hop artist Shad will make his theatrical debut with his rap pieces, co-written with Aguirre. From 1970’s disco to the batucada to the blues, the music of Anywhere But Here is a significant and heavily featured element in the play, carrying the story across several historic events to the present day.