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PLIRP co-sponsors “De Novo,” a documentary illustrating life of an undocumented immigrant youth

March 12, 2013

“De Novo” – Thursday, March 28th, 7:00pm, Fitts Auditorium – Hosted by PLIRP


The Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project (PLIRP) is a TPIC Pro Bono Project whose goals include providing pro bono immigration law services to the greater Philadelphia community and educating the Penn community on issues of immigration law. This year, PLIRP is proud to host the Houses on the Moon theater company for a performance on Thursday, March 28th at 7:00 pm in the Fitts Auditorium at Penn Law. The event is co-hosted by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and a number of student groups in the law school and across Penn grad schools: LALSA, IRAP, JLSA, EELSA, LLM-ILOHR, GAPSA, LaGAPSA, LMSA, WHALASA, and SWAIR.

The play: “De Novo” is a documentary theatre piece crafted from immigration court transcripts, letters and interviews conducted by the theatre company with so-called “alien” children (and their advocates) in immigration proceedings in New York, Arizona, Colorado and Los Angeles. The play illustrates the true experience of an undocumented immigrant youth who fled from Guatemala to the United States in order to escape gang violence and find his mother. The play is performed by bilingual actors in English and partly in Spanish. The performance also features the images of Donna Decesare, an award-winning photojournalist known for her groundbreaking coverage of the spread of Los Angeles gangs in Central America.

The company: Houses on the Moon is a New York City based educational theater group that uses original shows and workshops to dispel ignorance and isolation through the theatrical amplification of unheard voices. Houses on the Moon has performed at many law schools, including Rutgers, Columbia, NYU, University of Maryland, American University, University of Colorado and Arizona State.    More information about the show and the theater company is available at

The event: The performance will be followed by a brief talkback with the actors and a panel of attorneys who specialize in immigration law and advocacy, including Penn Law Professor Sarah Paoletti, HIAS’s Elizabeth Yaegar, and Reed Smith’s Pro Bono Counsel Jayne Fleming. The talkback will discuss the core themes of the piece and its relevance to current issues faced by lawyers in the field. The event will conclude with a free reception, at which refreshments and light food will be served. The event has been approved for 2 substantive law CLE credits.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and their guests can reserve FREE tickets at