SYNOPSIS: Working mom Alma has single-handedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida, and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present. Will the American Dream cost them a life together?


Join us for a powerful, live reading via Zoom. Following the 80-minute reading, stay in our virtual space for a group discussion and share actions you can take. For more information, please read our Backstage Guide in your browser or download pdf.

The box office is now closed. Suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. You will be sent the Zoom link in a “Plan Your Visit” email the day before the reading. To get on our waiting list, please send an email to Director of Patron Services Suzy Robertson at with any questions.

Additional Resources

Chicago Votes
A non-partisan, non-profit organization building a more inclusive democracy by putting power in the hands of young Chicagoans. 

Hana Center
Empowers multi-ethnic immigrant communities through social services, education, culture, and community organizing to advance human rights.

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Refugee & Rights
Educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights.

Immigration Advocates Network
An organization dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology.

Creative Team’s Biographies

BENJAMIN BENNE he/him (playwright) is a Yale School of Drama MFA Candidate in Playwriting and represented by Paradigm Talent Agency. He is American Blues Theater’s 2019 Blue Ink Playwriting Award winner, Arizona Theatre Company’s 2019 National Latinx Playwriting Award winner, a 2019 Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award recipient, a 2017 Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award winner, and a Playwrights’ Center Affiliated Writer. His plays, including AlmaIn His Hands, and at the very bottom of a body of water, have been produced/developed by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights Realm, The Lark, The Public, Roundabout Theatre Company, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Old Globe, Two River Theater, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Boston Court Pasadena, Pillsbury House Theatre, Teatro Milagro, A Contemporary Theatre, Theatre Battery, Annex Theatre, Forward Flux, Umbrella Project, and Parley, among  others.

ANA VELAZQUEZ she/her (director) is a Mexican American director and teaching artist in her native Chicago. Her directing experience is deeply tied to new play development and is often in collaboration with playwrights exploring underrepresented stories. Her directing credits include I Come From Arizona staged reading for Vittum Theater’s grand reopening at Adventure Stage Chicago; La Ofrenda at Adventure Stage Chicago; Alma for Blue Ink Festival at American Blues Theater; El Pico for A Night of New Works at SomethingMarvelous; Macha for Tutterow Fellows Showcase at Chicago Dramatists; Oak & Pallets for Peacebook at Collaboraction; Los Frikis for El Semillero at Victory Gardens Theater; Meet Juan(ito) Doe (co-directed) at Free Street Theater; Everybody Loves Big E for Our Chicago Project at Collaboraction; Art House and The Scream for Scrapbook 2017 at Chicago Dramatists; Epic Tales with FEMelanin for Kid’s Fringe 2016; and Raisin Puffs for Black Lives, Black Words at Black Ensemble Theatre. She received the 2018 Alta Award for Outstanding Director of Play for Meet Juan(ito) Doe (co-directed). Ana is a Playmakers Laboratory company member. Her teaching artist experience includes Disney Musicals in Schools and Playbuild Youth Intensive Program with Goodman Theatre; Timeline South Living History Program with Timeline Theatre and Young Playwrights Festival with Pegasus Theatre. She proudly served as the Associate Director for the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition. Ana has recently been selected as the residency artist for We the Many with Arts Midwest in Wabash, Indiana. She received her BA in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

JAZMIN CORONA she/her (Alma) Chicago credits include: Roe (Goodman Theatre); Shrew’d and Macbeth (First Folio Theatre); I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and The Compass (u/s, Steppenwolf Theatre); 1776 (Porchlight Music Theatre);Women of 4G (Babes With Blades Theatre Company); Mariposa Nocturna (16th St. Theatre and Physical Festival Chicago); Two Mile Hollow (First Floor Theater); Gender Breakdown (Collaboraction); Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose (Raven Theatre). TV credits: Chicago Fire.

KEREN DIAZ DE LEON she/her, they/them (Angel) is a first-generation Mexican American actor and director from the south side of Chicago.  




CARA PARRISH she/her (stage manager) is a proud Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater where she is also the Human Resources Coordinator. Chicago credits: Gem of the Ocean, Electra, Hard Problem, Photograph 51, Five Guys Named Moe, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Lady From the Sea (Court Theatre); WITCH, Port Authority, Yellow Moon, The Letters, The Caretaker, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, & The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (Writers Theatre); Too Heavy for Your Pocket & The Vibrator Play (TimeLine Theatre Company); James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, & Emma (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Beauty’s Daughter & Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater). Cara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Resources for Emotional and Racial Trauma:

Anxiety & Depression Association of America—Latinx/Hispanic Communities
Information & resources on seeking mental health care.

Enlace Chicago
A local organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of Little Village residents by fostering a safe and healthy environment.

Informed Immigrant—Resource Library
A collection of mental health resources, as well as legal resources and information.

Mental Health America
Information & resources on supporting the mental health of immigrant communities.

National Alliance on Mental Health
Information & resources on seeking culturally competent mental health care.

National Hispanic & Latino Mental Health & Technology Transfer Center Network
An organization working to provide high-quality training and technical assistance to improve the capacity of those serving Hispanic and Latinx communities in behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Palo Alto University—Psychology & Counseling
A collection of Latinx resources for therapy and self-care.

Translation & language resources:

American Translator Association—Directory

Chicago Public Library—Learning English
Online & in-person resources for learning English as a second language.

Instituto Cervantes—Chicago
Online & in-person classes for learning  Spanish.

New York Magazine—At-Home Language Learning Programs and Tools
A collection of at-home language learning programs.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions (Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, SAG-AFTRA) through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.

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