On the Border

The U.S. Mexico border is on the mind of a lot of people these days, and playwright Octavio Solis’s award-winning “Lydia,” which debuted in 2008, has added resonance now. The play is set in the early 1970s and was partly inspired by Solis’s experiences growing up in El Paso, Texas. It’s primarily about the many tensions and bonds within a working-class Mexican-American family as they try to live out the “American dream” in “el norte” while dealing with civil rights, illegal immigrants, gay-bashing, and the Vietnam war’s disproportionate impact on people of color. Pretty heady stuff in 2008, and so relatable in today’s polarized anti-immigrant political climate.