Mexico: Art and Ceremony

TESC Spring Quarter 2003
Faculty: Ann Storey and Marla Beth Elliott

Performance Project: Students in Mexico: Art and Celebration will perform informal staged readings of short plays by Mexican and Mexican-American authors. No memorization is required. The second set of maskmaking workshops will focus on creating masks to support these performances. Students will devise their own costumes, staging, props, and other scenic elements for these under-rehearsed "rough theatre" performances. Scripts will be provided.

Plays to be performed in this project include:

The Loa of the Divine Narcissus by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a cloistered nun, was also multi-talented 17th century Mexican artist and intellectual. A loa is a short dramatic preface to a longer work. In this prelude to Sor Juana's long poetic drama The Divine Narcissus, allegorical figures representing the old and new worlds experience conflict and resolution. Cast: 9 to 13 people. Includes dancing, music, and verse.

Quinta Temporada by Luis Valdez
Luis Valdez began by writing skits for the United Farmworkers Union in the 1960's. His company, El Teatro Campesino, is now the premier Mexican-American theatre company in the United States, and Luis Valdez is a nationally prominent playwright and screenwriter. Quinta Temporada is an organizing play that was performed in the fields for audiences of farmworkers. Cast: 9 to 12 people. Includes some dialogue in Spanish.

Three TWO short plays by Salvador Novo:
Salvador Novo (1904-1974) was a prominent author, critic, and wit.

The War of the Fatties is a humorous retelling of an incident from Aztec history. Includes lots of multisyllabic Aztec names. Pronunciation guide included.
Act I cast: 7 to 11 people.
Act II cast: 10 to 14 people.

Note: since our program enrollment is closer to 30 than to 50, we unfortunately do not have enough students to perform The War of the Fatties.

Cuauhtemoc and Eulalia is an imaginary dialogue between the last Aztec king and the 20th century archeologist who found and reconstructed his skeleton.
Malinche and Carlota is an imaginary dialogue between Cortez' mistress and the wife of the Emperor Maximilian. One group will perform both these dialogues. Cast: 4 people.

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