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Thanks to an outreach program provided free to schools and the public, two live professional performances of a play exploring prejudice, cultural differences, and Santa Maria history will be presented by PCPA in October.

Breaking Through, written by Francisco Jiménez and adapted for the stage by Leo Cortez, recounts the Jiménez family journey back into the United States after having been deported to Mexico.

Jiménez was a student at Santa Maria High School, where he discovered a passion for literature and education. The play explores his family’s dreams of American opportunities and his own dreams of attending college. Jiménez is now a professor of modern languages and literature at Santa Clara University. He has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature, and his stories have been published in more than 100 textbooks and anthologies of literature.

Audiences can meet the director, Marilet Martinez, and cast members following the first performance on Saturday, October 23, at 1:30 p.m. at Guadalupe City Hall.

A meet and greet will be held with Martinez and author Francisco Jiménez following the second performance at Abel Maldonado Center Gymnasium in Santa Maria on Saturday, October 29 at 1 p.m.

PCPA’s limited engagement tour of Breaking Through is available to schools for grades 3 through 12 throughout Santa Barbara and SLO counties Monday through Friday from October 26 to November 18. For more information contact Outreach/Youth Education Coordinator Kristina Melscheimer at PCPA.