Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Fine Arts

Abstract

The many difficulties that family farmers and ranchers face are exposed in play format. These struggles include gaining economic stability, the effects of agricultural legislation on small farmers, the modernization of a historical and traditional lifestyle and means of business, the changing mind sets ofyounger generations within the community, hiring illegal immigrants as workers, and the emotional investments that independent farmers and ranchers go through while making decisions that could possibly lead to the demise of their life’s work. This play focuses on a farmer who finds out he may lose his farm and has little options left to save it. He had relied on the help of a former Sociology and Economics teacher from Mexico that was hired as labor several years ago. After immigrating illegally to the US because of layoffs, he eventually became the farmer’s economic adviser, but he too has to make a choice: stay on board with a failing future or find new work. Both the farmer and his adviser have sons the same age that grew up together, however racial tensions develop as the two grow older and they become distant. Conflicts arise between all four characters as each one tries to find their place in what was once known as the Old West, now a melting pot of real estate and agribusiness. Past and future clash in today’s present.

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