In Below U.S., Speedy, as he is nicknamed by his friends, seeks to find comfort within his complex identities. Labeled a gringo in Latin America and a Latino in the U.S., he experiences a state of perpetual banishment that makes him feel like an outsider abroad, at home, and even in his own skin. Zorro, Rico Suave, and other iconic stereotypes along with a montage of community voices show up to help or hinder Speedy in wrestling with these ill-fitting representations.
Combining physical theater, video animation by Tess Martin, and text drawn from interviews with community members, Below U.S. brings powerful, cross-cultural stories that deepen our understanding of the experiences of those living at the borders of cultures, languages, ethnicities and identities in Hybrid America. Most characters are portrayed by the versatile Tikka Sears, and include an array of real and imagined individuals that intersect with digital animation and shadow imagery, creating a visually striking multimedia experience that is layered, searing, funny, and explosive.
Video sample can be viewed on our video page.