Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo, an original stage play written by playwright, nationally-recognized community leader, spoken word artist and Oakland-based Latino Men and Boys Program Director, Paul S. Flores, about a Salvadoran immigrant’s determination to reunite his family, will be stopping in Long Beach at The Scottish Rite Event Center on Thursday, April 30, and running until Saturday, May 2 at 7:30PM.
Developed with and directed by Cornerstone Theatre’s artistic director Michael John Garcés, Placas, which is barrio slang for body tattoos, is roughly based on ex-gang member Alex Sanchez’ experiences, who founded the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization Homies Unidos. Ric Salinas, a founding member of the performance group, Culture Clash, will play Fausto Carbajal, the Salvadoran immigrant who endures civil war in El Salvador, immigration, deportation, prison and the street violence.
According to Flores, placas signify an individual gang member’s steadfast loyalty and also becomes a way for the person to inhabit a new identity. The play confronts the painful and risky process of tattoo removal as one way for gang members to move forward with their lives. Flores interviewed over 100 gang members, parents and intervention workers from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and El Salvador.
Currently on a national tour, making stops in Washington D.C., Oakland, CA, Denver, CO and New York City, Placas was created as a method to showcase the power of healing through storytelling, to impact communities affected by poverty, immigration and violence in a positive manner. According to the announcement, Placas will land in Long Beach to engage its residents in campaigns that offer young people a path away from violence, to stress the importance of tattoo removal and shed light on second change programs for probationary youth.
Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance and can be purchased here. The Scottish Rite Event Center is located at 855 Elm Ave. Parking is available next door.