In a local theater season short on contemporary politics, I was excited to see Brown’s student production of Octavio Solis’ Dreamlandia. Set on the fraught border between El Paso and Cuidad Juarez, the play looks at a sinister drug lord and his feral son, raised in chains on an island in the Rio Grande with only TV Guides to keep him company. The cast gives it their all in a well-designed production, but the play itself careens wildly between violence, melodrama, magic, and history lesson. (The play was written in 2000 so there’s a lot of talk about NAFTA.) The opening is terrifying, an on-stage childbirth during a brutal storm, but then it flounders, never again reaching that level of drama. It also contains some super clunky foreshadowing when one character, reduced to laboring in a Mexican maquiladora, gives another character a pedantic explanation about the dangers of women working in factories.