After a fruitful Story Street collaboration between CAN and Teatro Latinx in 2019, CAN supported Teatro Latinx again to produce Man On! – a theatre show which took the changing rules of the Australian migration system to the soccer pitch. Loved by most Latinx communities, soccer was chosen as the medium to communicate the bureaucratic challenges temporary visa holders face in Australia, and the impact that has on the mental health and wellbeing of migrants.
Workshops and rehearsals over several months created a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for men, women and non-binary Latinx community members to gather. Latinx facilitators Bernardo Dewey, Hugo Lopez and Cesar Perez led workshops to support and encourage participants to develop their storytelling skills by sharing their personal stories with one another, finesse their technical soccer abilities, improve their nutrition and expand their understanding of the migration experiences of Latinx and Hispanic people. Creative director Carolina Duca guided the group through scripting a play and developing a theatrical performance.
In April 2021, the Teatro Latinx participants performed to a sell-out crowd at the Herb Graham indoor soccer stadium, delighting them with a theatrical soccer match which was partly scripted and partly improvised, and full of humour. It was the first time most of the participants had performed on stage.