Based on the T.C. Boyle novel 'The Tortilla Curtain'
A microcosmic examination of poverty and wealth.
An upper middle class housing estate on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Delaney Mossbacher and his wife Kyra are living the modern American Dream. Delaney is a writer and "househusband", Kyra sells real estate. But when Delaney runs over an illegal Mexican immigrant who is camping with his partner in the nearby canyon, their peaceful lifestyle is suddenly disturbed. Delaney doesn’t report the car accident. The consequences of this decision are far reaching. The life of the two illegal Mexicans, Cándido and América is also turned upside down. Being injured, Cándido is unable to work. Having no food and no money, Cándido’s pregnant young partner América is forced to search for work in the cut-throat world of the illegal immigrants. The steadily growing illegal immigrant population is disturbing the peace of the whole housing estate and plans are being made about how to keep them out ...
Adapted by: Peter Scollin
Director: Anja Scollin
Performers: Andrea Pani Laura, Kenneth George, Louise Watts, Peter Scollin
Duration: 110 Minutes
Premiered 4th November 2010 at ufaFabrik
97 Performances (as at Jan 2016)
The Tagesspiegel Online
"Life on the border: Platypus Theater stages a production of T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain It’s amazing that no one had yet thought of turning the novel into a play. The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle, published in 1995, is made up of scenes and dialogue made for the screen, as well as having the structure of a classical drama. Now Platypus Theater, a small English-speaking company based in Berlin, has created a stage adaptation of the book under the direction of the committed Australian Peter Scollin and his wife Anja Scollin. Scollin’s main motivation was the continual/perpetual/unchanging reality of immigration between Mexico and Southern California, and equally the relevance of the subject matter to EU relations. In the BKA theatre, he and his 4 actors succeed in transforming Boyle’s contemporary version of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath into a short, intimate play using simple techniques. Peter Scollin concentrates the subject matter around key scenes, as is necessary. He and his actors portray the drama with the uncomplicated use of free, independent theatre and humour (with interludes sung by Melissa Holroyd and Christian Serritiello!). The stage itself consists of nothing more than a stylized wall made of synthetic blocks with which the actors put together the scenery (they are involuntarily yet strangely effective when used to stage a landslide at the end). How would one react as a liberal and tolerant inhabitant of/in this day and age were immigrants to suddenly turn up at one’s door- this is the didactical question underlying both book and play: solidarity or contention? This is theatre with more than just target audiences from secondary schools in sight/mind/ its line of vision."
"Opening in the weeks after the Multikulti debate in Germany reached a new level, the Platypus Theater’s adaptation of T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain (adapted by Peter Scollin and directed by Anja Scollin) took on an even more poignant resonance. The plot revolves around two couples living in southern California: one a typical suburban-yuppie unfulfilled married couple (Christian Serritiello, Melissa Holroyd) and the other, a pair of illegal immigrants from Mexico (Andrea Pani Laura, Kenneth Phillips). Unfortunately, the length of the adaptation doesn’t allow for much character development but the actors do an extraordinary job of portraying the complex ideologies and emotions that go into the sometimes oversimplified immigration debate. The Berlin-based husband and wife company has been known for theater aimed at pupils studying English. This production shows that they can also stage an intelligent and theatrically well-constructed piece suitable for grown ups."
Dear Platypus-Team! This afternoon, I saw the play THE TORTILLA CURTAIN performed by your theatre in the GALLUS THEATER in Frankfurt. I just loved your performance!!! The actors were great in their roles and their mimics and gestures looked really authentic. What I also liked very much about this production was its 'funny touch'. There were so many scenes where I had to laugh but nevertheless the story's seriousness was not passed over. Despite of its simplicity the scenery was very creative and pleasant to look at! I feel perfectly prepared for my class test about the book because although I liked the detailed production the focus was put on the most important scenes and I could gain a much better overview of this story. Besides, I had a very enjoyable experience! Thank you very much, Sarah