Mud Angel

I would guess that Seattle playwright Joy McCullough-Carranza has seen at least one Sherman Alexie film: The Business of Fancydancing. If not, the two Northwest writers fashioned protagonists with a remarkable affinity. Like Alexie’s conflicted Seymour Polatkin, successful Guatemalan-American author Pablo (Daniel Christensen), complete with a WASP-ish crew cut and tidy khakis, confronts self-doubts about the validity of his Guatemalan identity in the manifestation of boyhood doppelganger Pablito (Ricky Coates). An animate vehicle to flashbacks, Pablito’s bare feet, messy curls, and naïve smile brutally evoke his civil war origins as a raffish orphan inured in the despair of postbellum Guatemala. McCullough-Carranza credibly sketches the dichotomy of First-World ambition and guilt felt by the handful of refugees who attain U.S. citizenship.

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