Poet Yosimar Reyes strikes the stage with his play ‘Prieto’


Ashley Huerta

The “Prieto” stage from the audience’s perspective at the Castellano Playhouse theatre in San Jose on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Ashley Huerta

In the Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana Castellano Playhouse in San Jose on Thursday, Nov. 10, Yosimar Reyes performed his first week run of “Prieto” — a one-man comedic memoir directed by Kat Evasco and Sean San José.

“Prieto” documents Reyes’ journey as a young undocumented immigrant and LGBTQ youth living in the east side of San Jose. Reyes’ performance touches on topics including immigration, sexuality and poverty.

Celia Ramirez, an Eastside San Jose resident who attended the Nov. 10 showing, said,  “Prieto” is especially impactful to the community because of its ability to shed light on the stories of undocumented immigrants. 

“It was an eyeopener for people who might not be from this area,” Ramirez said. “It gives people perspective on the time period and what people had to go through in order to assimilate in a new culture.”

Ramirez also said the show especially heightens the impact that the Trump Administation had on the undocumented community because of the anti-immigrant sentiments spread during former President Donald Trump’s 2017 presidency. 

Sophia Hernandez, another San Jose resident, attended the event with her family and shared how much the show meant for members of the undocumented community.

“His work is successful because people are listening to his story,” Hernandez said. “It showed that it doesn’t matter what your background is. Even if you don’t know your full potential, you can make your dreams come true.” 

Hernandez said the performance was not only significant to people of the undocumented community, but to other demographics as well. 

“He demonstrates that people can flourish being part of LGBTQ community,” Hernandez said. “It is like a sense of relief for people in that community because it gives them someone to relate to.”

Attendee Anna Maria Lopez said Reyes’ performance was “revolutionary” and showcases how poetry is evolving. 

“When you think of a poetry reading, you don’t think about it as somebody walking in with a fur coat and reggaeton playing in the background,” Lopez said. “A lot of people in the Latin community, like myself, think the representation is amazing and being able to incorporate that makes it so much more fun.”

“Everybody was at home,” Ramirez said. “It felt like a safe space.” To check out more events like “Prieto,” visit MACLA’s website at https://maclaarte.org/.