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El Paisano

Enemy Flint Shows the Audience the Bureaucratic Adversary

Jake Laurell, Arts & Entertainment/Science & Tech Editor

“Enemy Flint” a play written by Diana Burbano performed by RIo Hondo Community College in the Wray theater not only gave a stellar performance from the the cast of Rio Hondo Students, but gave an insight on how young like minded individuals they can truly change their world around them. The play wanted to show a younger generation how they can turn the around the ship around so to speak and give awareness to the dire situation still happening in Flint, Michigan.

The play focused around a small, young, divided family that anyone in the audience could relate too. Thia Stockman’s shoes of a young headstrong intelligent college student that takes care of her younger sister with her girlfriend is something the audience is bound to connect with in some fashion. The family comes into conflict when the Thia’s zealous younger brother, Peter Stockman, while seeking to climb the political totem pole going against her political activism.

The play was based upon a different play, “Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen and Burbano purposely choose this one because of its overall story of adolescence rising up against corrupt bureaucratic injustice in 1898.

Burbano stated in a Q&A session after the play her intentions with this play:


“I actually didn’t adapt the plot at all, except to update it, shorten it a little bit, make it younger, but the plot is exactly the same. If you go back and look you will see it is exactly the same. Which kind of blows my mind because this is a play from a 100 years ago, and they were suffering from dirty water then and we we are still suffering from dirty water now.”


The young group of family and friends bond and stick together as loved ones and  societal pressures make it difficult standing stout for truth.

Although the majority of focus was around what a young group can do and achieve with civil disobedience, the play highlighted our current extremely polarized political climate. The two don’ts of politics and religion of the dinner table were prominently displayed showing us the difficulties of trying to reason with someone on the other political aisle of you. Peter Stockman’s character was however ultimately wrong, the argument wasn’t. Replacing infrastructure is no easy task and can be a huge logistical problem, especially if it would cost a city 55 million dollars.

When asked about the eternal conflict between the conservatives and liberals over in the script Burbano said that those viewpoints were in the original play. She felt it only gave more credence to the argument of America always being divided and needs to be better at bridging those ideological viewpoints.


Director of the play, Julianna Stephanie Ojeda stated in an interview that how she felt honored and wanted the audience to take away whatever part of society they are from, high or low, that what you could do as an individual.

Ojeda stated how reading the script of the play checked her own privilege, having to rethink what she takes for granted as person.

“These are all people just scraping by… trying to make a living. But still fighting for the greater community. You are apart of the community so why not fight for the community.”

Jeremiah Collazo, an actor who play the character of Ace, the high school basketball team captain stated that he couldn’t help but feel empathy for Flint especially since he believed there were current water problems for Compton CA.

“I would want people to really… you know Flint has gone 1000 plus days without water, and how we can kind of just take water for granted. Just throwing it out, taking long showers, like that is some real stuff that these people are going through.”


Burbano said in an interview how she became internet friends with Little Ms. Flint Mari Copeny, a young activist who started at the age of nine and talked a lot about the horrendous conditions of  the water in Flint, Michigan. Burbano stated how she felt obligated making this play because after speaking to Little Ms Flint who told her about the city is still in dire peril.


“I am just glad they have not been forgotten yet. I think it is important to keep in mind, that we ourselves in  massively modern industrialized so called first world country, we have dirty water. And it is not just happening in Flint. Stand up for what you believe in, nasty women and nasty men get stuff done.”

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Enemy Flint Shows the Audience the Bureaucratic Adversary