World Premier of Play "Tears of Lives" this Friday to Help Save Phoenix Day Labor Center

Macehualli Day Labor Center Director Salvador Reza is in a pinch: Despite valiant fund raising efforts, the 6-year-old day labor center is in imminent danger of closing due to financial woes.

The story could easily be the subject of local writer James Garcia's plays, so it's only appropriate that the world premiere of his newest work "Tears of Lives" should be a fundraiser to help keep the center open.

Debuting Friday, August 15th, at the Playhouse at the Park, there will be five performances total -- one on Friday, and a matinee and evening performance both Saturday and Sunday. All the proceeds will be donated to the Macehualli Day Laborer Center.

The subject of the play is on topic too: "Tears of Lives" follows the story of Regino Ortega, an undocumented immigrant who has been living in the United States for 21 years. Ortega is caught by ICE and deported, leaving behind three children who are forced fend for themselves.

According to Garcia, the play is ripped straight from the local newspaper headlines, and focuses on humanizing the American immigrant drama that plays out in Phoenix every day.

"The immediate goal is raise a little money for the center, but I also hope that people will see on stage more than they read in the paper," says Garcia. "This play is a dramatization of something that happens every day. I hope people see it and respond sympathetically."

Although the play could raise as much as $10,000, it is still a far cry from what will be needed to keep the center open permanently.

Reza plans to hold additional fundraisers -- like private house parties -- throughout the year in hopes of raising more.

Tickets for "Tears of Lives" can be purchased online at