From writing for FX’s acclaimed series The Americans to tackling urgent issues at the U.S-Mexico border, Brooklyn-based playwright Hilary Bettis heads to Roundabout Theatre Company to premiere 72 Miles to Go…, her new off Broadway play that weaves a personal narrative about a Tucson family facing a mother’s deportation during the Obama years.
Hilary’s frustration with immigration policy was the genesis for the play, but she did not want to put out just another angry story: “I wanted to write a human family story with an iconic American family that feels familiar to all of us and that we can all really relate to.” While the play isn’t autobiographical, Bettis takes inspiration from her own life: her grandfather was a Mexican immigrant who served in the US Army in World War II; and, many of the characters in the play share similarities with those of her own family.
The result is: a slice-of-life portrait that shows how the physical absence of a mother—from breakfast or from a graduation—affects a family’s emotional connection. Bettis hesitates to use the word political, but she views the play as a call to action. “I feel an immense responsibility to use the incredible platform that is Roundabout Theatre Company to put this out in the world. My hope is that we are really putting a face to the news headlines and the stories that we see every day... that we don’t give a second thought to.”
72 Miles to Go… is now playing at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/Laura Pels Theatre.
This post is a sponsored collaboration between Roundabout Theatre Company and Gothamist.