One Man’s Dream in a One Man Show

by Anahi Alcoser Bravo, North Chicago Community High School '19

Anahi, Yveth, Brian, Jeremias, Alondra, Oliver

Brian Quijada’s life was a moonwalk, Michael Jackson’s anti-gravity lean, away from an exciting career. Brian Quijada was raised in the Chicago suburbs to two immigrant parents from El Salvador. “Where Did We Sit on the Bus” is Brian’s one man show full of music, dance and witty comedy. The show consists of Brian making up sounds, combining them and singing over them, which is called live looping. He makes sure to always bust a dance move anytime it is appropriate.

The title “Where Did We Sit on the Bus” as he tells us comes from a time in grade school when he asked his teacher during her lesson about the civil rights movement where did “we” (Latinos, Asians etc.) sit on the bus during these times of segregation. Aware of the fact that the segregation was towards African Americans, the teacher couldn’t respond and said that “we” weren’t there at that time. This made Brian think, “how did 'we' get here?" This is the question that people of color have and is one of the many uncovered topics of school.

Throughout the play Brian tells his experience of growing up Latino in a suburban community. He also talks about the adversities that come with being able to get in to the entertainment industry, and his families worries about his future.

A problem that people of color in America face today is how they define their identity. In addition, their stories of how they came to America aren’t brought to attention in classrooms and history books. They aren’t always covered in the lessons like in Brian’s case, but they are still very important.

Brian’s talent never failed to surprise me. As a young Latina I find it inspiring that another Latino has accomplished their dream in a place where we face more challenges. His performance showed that he is passionate about what he was doing. What I learned from Brian’s play is that not all of us came to America the same way, but it’s still important to know that we are here and our stories are told.


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