“Irma's Play is a wonderful work – daring, humorous, sharp-edged and affirming. Irma Herrera transports her audience to places that are deeply personal and also revisits the distant and more contemporary legal history impacting people of color in the US. Tell Me Your Name evokes the warmth and comfort of the communities people of color emerge from, and also captures, uncompromisingly, the harshness of their reception by a country which still struggles to accept people of color, immigrants and first generation professionals as full members. Bravo.”
Executive Director, California Minority Counsel Program
"At a time in which the very definition of a real American is hotly contested, Irma Herrera brings intelligence, humor and grace to the race debate. Many people will see bits of their own experience in her struggle not just to belong, but to thrive in a society that is so often ambivalent about including her. A must-see for anyone who wonders what it will take for us to all get along."
Executive Director, Race Forward
“What’s in a name? A minefield of misplaced notions — comical, sad, damaging — that speaks volumes about where we are as a mixed nation. Drawing on personal experience, American history, observations from the front-lines, and laugh-out-loud humor, Irma Herrera’s one-woman show encapsulating the differences that plague us, could not have come at a more opportune moment.”
Distinguished Journalist in Residence
UC Berkeley, School of Journalism
"Irma takes us on a gripping journey across the USA and beyond to unravel the multi-layered significance of how names are treated with privilege or disrespect. She is equally hilarious and heartbreaking in bravely sharing stories and intertwining compelling tidbits of history. Her engaging performance invites us to ponder our own relationship with names, cultural heritage, and our opportunity to take a stand for equity on a daily basis."
We were really impressed by Irma's story, her performance, and ability to do various accents. And she has great presence on the stage! Irma weaves together her civil rights work and her personal story. I have been telling people about the show and urging them to see it. I hope Irma takes this on the road and gives more people the opportunity to think about making the effort to get names right, and honoring all our nationalities and languages.
Executive Director, Child Care Law Center
“I know so many adults whose real names were changed forever because it was “inconvenient” for teachers or employers to pronounce correctly. I applaud Irma for coming forth with her personal story, from childhood to the courtroom. She articulates with grace and humor how “unconsciously racist” Americans . . . the ones who subtlety and with a smile, refuse to respect diverse cultures. Now, when we hear a name that’s a challenge to pronounce, we will all hopefully make an attempt and then say: “Did I get that right?” Everyone should see this . . . I gave her a standing ovation; another woman in the audience shouted out, “AMEN!” I couldn’t agree more!”
"In the United States today and around the developed world, there is an urgent and pervasive pressure to succeed at any and all costs, including at the cost of our unique heritages and roots. In a magnificent solo performance starting with stories about her 1960’s coming of age in a poor Mexican-American family in rural South Texas, Irma Herrera stands on the stage and says this: Success in America means nothing if we give up our roots, means nothing if we give up our heritage. With subtle and brilliant and biting humor, she also says this: Take the time to pronounce my name and take the time to see me as the unique woman that I am – or you do not really see me at all.”
Author of And So Man Dreams
“Okay, so we all have our pet peeves and one of Irma Herrera’s is that very few people she meets in her native United States, where Spanish has been spoken for a mere 500 years, say her name right. Even as she jokes about the mangling of her name, Irma points out that this could be because racism is alive and well in the United States. To prove this, she takes you along her life’s journey – from her birthplace in Alice, Texas, to California, where she succeeds in becoming a successful lawyer and human rights activist, without Anglicizing her name. A trip to Copenhagen’s oldest grocery store convinced her that if the Danish could get it right, so could those in her home country. Would people here have learned to say her name right had she been Danish rather than Mexican, she wonders. Irma is bloody funny in making her case, and even as we laugh we realize that she’s telling the truth."
Editor, New America Media