SPOTLIGHT: The writers of Mothers & Mijas at Off The Tracks – selene santiago de nasseri

yellow is the color by selene santiago de nasseri

“yellow is the color” is a very personal piece that has been partially six and partially 15 years in the making…but i wrote it in a week. i guess one doesn’t need a lot of time to set something to paper when it’s collectively been stewing for 15 years, does one? regardless of all that time, it was still difficult to write—as unpacking the deep often is.

the story is set in April of 1996, when i’m a senior in high school and diagnosed with cancer. it’s about how those several months of fighting the disease informs my journey of motherhood (from being told i would not be able to get pregnant to getting pregnant to hoping for the absolute best for my baby’s health—despite the fact that she has my crappy genes). I filter the story through a yellow lens as yellow is a color that has tinted much of my life since cancer decided to enter as a main player.

the request for this creative contribution was a conversation in passing with one of the co-founders of off the tracks. now, i’m not exactly known in the theater scene as a writer—i’m a director and designer by trade and when i do write, it’s poetry—so i was a little taken aback when this opportunity was presented. i took the offer home with me and slept with it for a few nights and upon realizing the timeliness, i became elated at the opportunity.

fifteen years ago, to the month, i was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma; 6.5 years ago, to the month, i found out i was pregnant. i realize that this story has been a malignant in my soul and that now is the time to carve it out, place it on the examination room table and pick it apart…find the good…the bad…the humorous…and ultimately let it go.

so here it is: the beginning of letting go.


selene santiago de nasseri is a native angeleno (just east of the river, boyle heights) who directs/designs/creates for the stage.  she is a graduate of uc berkeley in theatre/chicano studies (BA) and cal state la in theatre (MA); recipient of la opinion’s “mujeres destacadas” award in arts & culture for 2008; founding familia member of CASA 0101 and co-founding teatrista of the stage art group, tongue in chíc*ana (TIC).  selene is currently the general manager of cornerstone theater company and working on two pieces for the stage with TIC, Santa Chata and Her Fantastic Failures (working title) in Nov 2011 and Midnight Mariachi: A Puppet Musical in 2012.

Mothers & Mijas: A Special Mother’s Day show celebrating women, life, love, & family! April 29th & 30th and May 6th & 7th. With original works written by Gerardo Davolo, Fanny Garcia, Ramona Gonzales, Gabriela Lopez de Dennis, Carmelita Maldonado, Rosalva Reza, Selene Santiago de Nasseri, Felix Umana and directed by Carmelita Maldonado. All performances at 8 p.m.(Doors open @ 7:30 p.m.) $10 donation/ Moms $5

OFF THE TRACKS 5068 Valley Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90032.  RSVP at or 323-383-3291