When crossing the desert with little but your boots separating you from the merciless elements, companionship and determination are the only things that will help you survive. And for every immigrant crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, there’s yet another, more human and therefore more cruel risk: that you might be abandoned by your fellow travelers, or found by border-patrol officers who will send you back. Kara Hartzler’s play based on interviews with real immigrants takes root in the portrayal of four women in just such circumstances.
For the most part “Roosters” manages to balance the politics with the threat of real, physical danger, yet ultimately the tone of the play, at times funny and at times deadly serious, is disjointed. The production, directed by Tanya Saracho, is an intimate and sympathetic one. Imaginative shadow puppets aid the telling of folk tales, and though beautiful the puppets often feel unnecessary. Like the story of the girl who sheds her skin to fly, the play works best when Saracho lets her ladies’ bones soar. (Neal Ryan Shaw)
Prop Thtr, 3502 North Elston, (773)539-7838. Through May 29.