Comparisons to Hoosiers are inevitable for The Mighty Vandals, but the New Carpa Theater-presented tale of the 1951 Arizona high school basketball champions is more unbelievable.
A team of predominantly Mexican-Americans, the state titleholders from the small mining town of Miami, Arizona who lived during a time when public-school segregation was still permissible pulled off the impossible. Not only because of the assumed talent imbalance between its team and those from metro Phoenix, but because of the racial prejudices of the day. As Vandals playwright James E. Garcia said prior to a recent production of another of his works, The Tears of Lives, non-whites were only allowed to use the Miami public pool on Sundays, the day the pool was drained.
Directed by Barbara Acker, the Lunch Time Theater production continues each Tuesday through Thursday through September 24 at Herberger Theater Center Performance Outreach Theater.