Written by 11:23 pm Anaheim, Review, The Chance Theater, Uncategorized

Alma @ Chance Theater – Review

(Photo by Doug Catiller)

Written by Patrick Chavis

The OC premiere of ALMA at the Chance Theater delivers a profoundly authentic and nuanced depiction of a first-generation immigrant Mexican family. The narrative, woven through the intricate bond of a mother and daughter, serves as a poignant reflection of the real-life experiences of countless immigrant families, inviting the audience to delve deeper into these complex dynamics. 

Marta Portillo and Heather Lee Echeverria


ALMA follows Alma (Marta Portillo), an undocumented Mexican immigrant and mother who lives with her daughter in a small apartment in La Puente, California. Angel(Heather Lee Echeverria) Alma’s daughter’s upcoming SAT and much more cause a lot of unrest and drama in the household. 

This simple plot might make you think there’s little you can do with it. But if you’ve lived life long enough and have been caught in an argument, you understand the twists and turns that make it feel like it never will end, especially when it is something close to your heart. This honest and straightforward tale sets the mood of a specific time in the year 2016 and brings out the fear and anxiety many families felt. The play also illuminates many of the challenges and barriers faced by immigrant families, particularly in this play, Mexican families. That being said, it doesn’t provide any solutions.

Set Design/Direction:

This modest apartment design from Christopher Scott Murillo matches the story’s simplicity and a little extra. Sara Guerrero’s direction does not leave a space unaccounted for. The tiny space is filled with light and purposeful movement. 

Heather Lee Echeverria

Costume Design:

Jeanette Godoy’s costume design is detailed down to the La Puente Warriors sweatshirt and even further to the butterfly imagery used on Angels’ white T-shirt, expressing her free spirit and personality. 


Theatre can sometimes be too theatrical for its own good. This was not a problem in this performance. What a grounded and lovely performance from these two actresses, Marta Portillo (ALMA) and Heather Lee Echeverria (Angel). This show mirrors others’ experiences and is a place to experience empathy and understanding.

Our brief moments with these people were too short, as much is unresolved in this show, which speaks to the quality of the writing. 

8.7 Overall
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Set & Design8.8
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Great Show! OCR Recommended! May 3 – 26, 2024.

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