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Performances

Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido

By Elisa Gonzales
Lyrics by Elisa Gonzales
Musical Arrangement, Composition, and Additional Lyrics by Moises Vázquez
A workshop production presented in partnership with Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble (www.breathoffire.org). 
Made possible in part by a University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Research Grant /Healey Endowment Grant.
Directed by Sara Guerrero
Musical arrangement and composition by Moises Vázquez

April 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 p.m., April 9 at 2 p.m.
In the Rand Theater, located in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts at UMass

Tickets for the full spring production of this play are $15 general admission, $5 youth, students, and seniors, and can be purchased in advance online at the Fine Arts Center Box Office or by calling 1-413-545-2511.

Before you purchase tickets, please read our Patron COVID Safety Policy to ensure you are prepared. Patrons who are unable to meet the requirements WILL be turned away at the door.

Inspired by the classic structure of a corrido, a traditional Mexican song style that draws on storytelling, folklore, and oral history, Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido, is a new, musically-driven, theatrical re-imagining of the many untold stories of the Mexican Repatriation of the Great Depression, where over one million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were illegally and unconstitutionally deported, or repatriated to Mexico. In this workshop production, we see the Repatriation and its effects unfold through the eyes of four women, including the playwright’s grandmother and great-grandmother, who were repatriated to Mexico in 1931, the effects of which still echo through the Mexican-American community today.

Content advisory: Use of racial slurs, and discussion of a child’s death

Stick around after the performances on April 7 & 8 for post-show Q&As moderated by dramaturg Priscilla Page:
April 7 — writer/actor Elisa Gonzales, director Sara Guerrero and composer/music director Moises Vásquez
April 8 — a conversation with the cast

Production Credits | Dramaturgical Notes

Production Credits

By Elisa Gonzales
Lyrics by Elisa Gonzales
Musical Arrangement, Composition, and Additional Lyrics by Moises Vázquez

Director: Sara Guerrero of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble
Composer and Musical Director: Moises Vázquez
Dramaturg: Priscilla María Page
Scenic Designer: Anya Klepikov
Lighting Designer: Hyejung Kang
Costume Designer: Malory Grillo
Sound Designer: Eddie Pizzano
Stage Managers: Sena Yacteen and Carolyn Ferris

Assistant Director and Assistant Dramaturg: Pedro Eiras
Assistant Scenic Designer: Drishti Chauhan
Assistant Costume Designer: Chelsea Cannon
Assistant Lighting Designer: Jemma Kepner
Assistant Stage Managers: Sofia Cerciello, Julia Toler

Production Manager: Julie Fife
Technical Director: Chris Konstantinidis
Costume Shop Manager: Kristin Jensen
Lighting Supervisor: Michael Dubin
Sound Supervisor: Arshan Gailus

Costume Design Advisor: Yao Chen
Lighting Design Advisor: Penny Remsen
Sound Design Advisors: Arshan Gailus, Amy Altadonna
Stage Management Advisor: Julie Fife

This workshop production is presented in partnership with Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble (www.breathoffire.org).
Made possible in part by a University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Research Grant /Healey Endowment Grant.

CAST

Elisa / La Corridista / Paula / Celia: Elisa Gonzales*
La Corridista/Ensemble: Jordan McNair
La Corridista/Ensemble: Victoria Tavares

Voice of Pedro J. Gonzalez and additional voices: Jr Moreno
Additional Voice Over: Mical Henriquez

Singer: Ayleena Lyles
Musician: Lucas Solórzano
Musician: Julissa Rodríguez

* Appears by permission of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Special thanks to Mical Henriquez who contributed to the development of Las Corridistas and the ensemble during the rehearsal process. We are grateful for their commitment, creativity, and passion for this musical.
Thanks to Glenn Siegel for providing recorded music.

***

PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT
Associate Production Manager: Pedro Eiras
Production Assistants: Aleen Karakouzian and Lianna Fife Wiggall

SCENIC DEPARTMENT
Scenic Construction Director: Brandon Hall
Scenic Artisan: Carl Bridge
Scenic Charge Artist: Carl Bridge
Prop Master: Drishti Chauhan
Scene Shop Assistants: Ethan Brayall-Brown, Zaria Cannon, Duncan Hilliard, Roshan Kharbanda
Deck Crew: Parker Fisher, Michael Donnelly, Maryellen Tisdell

LIGHTING  DEPARTMENT
Production Master Electrician: Elana Peisner
Assistant Master Electrician: Anika Nayak
Lighting Console Programmer/Operator: Tess Beckwith
Graduate Assistant: Hyejung Kang
Electrics Shop Assistants: Tess Beckwith, Olivia Darling, Kaiden Elison, Bobby Gaffney, Abby Hare, Jemma Kepner, Anika Nayak, Sam Patterson, Elana Peisner, Sena Yacteen
Follow Spot Operators: Owen Cusick, Marco White
361 lab participants: Itai Abramovich, Sofia Cerciello, Michael Donnelly, Doug Edwards, Abigail Hare, Rebecca Hicks, Roshan Kharbanda, Taylor Mickens, Michael O’Malley, Sophia Schweik, Darrow Sherman, Matthew Suchecki, Parker Traphagen, Sena Yacteen

SOUND  DEPARTMENT
Sound Engineer: Eddie Pizzano
Board Operator: Douglas Edwards
Sound Crew: Ethan Lewis, Julian Buitrago        

COSTUME AND MAKE-UP DEPARTMENT
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Felicia Malachite
Production Assistants: Malory Grillo, Chenoa Alberston, Emily Peck
Stitchers: Taylor Lennon
Wardrobe Supervisors: Chenoa Albertson, Emily Irene Peck
Dressers: Foster Marfo, Luna Barros Gallina, DeShaun Darling
Hair and Makeup Run Crew: Claudia Ferreira-Rodrigues, Kasey Regan
Costume Stock Assistant: Parker Traphagen
Costume Shop Intern: Parker Smith, Innis Bakey

 

PUBLICITY, HOUSE AND BUSINESS STAFF
Public Relations Director and House Manager: Anna-Maria Goossens
Archival Photographer: Ben Barnhart
Poster Design: Fleur Kuhta
Associate House Managers: Natasha Hawkins, Anna Norcross
Box Office Managers: Roxanne Edel, Arianna Morales
House and Publicity Crew: Andrew Bove, Lindsay Forauer, Bobby Gaffney, Zachary Graczyk, Mary Henry, Preston Knecht, Claudia Maurino, Arjun Misra, Arnav Mohan, Jr  Moreno, Kitty Ryan
Business Manager: Joanne Corbeil-Harper
Administrative Assistant: Bethany Sherwood
Department Chair: Harley Erdman
General Manager: Willow Cohen

Dramaturgical Note

Elisa Gonzales, Assistant Professor in the UMass Amherst Department of Theater, is a multi-faceted performing artist and proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, VASTA (the Voice and Speech Trainers Association), and ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education). Her greatest passion is creating work that honors cultural identity, ancestry, and history. She has a wonderful gift for intertwining her family’s story with US history. In Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido, she recounts the courtship and early life of Paula and José, her paternal great-grandparents, while drawing equal influence from research on repatriation and deportation in the US. In the early 1920s, José worked on the railroads and Paula eventually took a job in a cannery as they began raising their family in San Pedro, California. In response to the Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover initiated repatriation drives and coerced many Mexican and Mexican American families to leave the US. As he sought re-election in 1932, he proclaimed that he “favored rigidly restricted immigration” and noted that he had greatly reduced immigration rates.  The repatriation drives lasted for about ten years forcing the removal of somewhere between 400,000 and one million people. It is estimated that between 40-60% of this number were US citizens and that an overwhelming number of this group were children like Celia, Gilbert, and Pablo, the young characters in the play. These families were scapegoated and blamed for taking away jobs and social resources from Anglo-Americans.

Gonzales describes the play as a love letter to ancestors and believes in the power of storytelling as a tool for education and justice. Their experiences of hardship and triumph serve as powerful tools for education in the service of justice. While Gonzales remembers her loved ones, she asks us to remember the nearly one million people, like her great-grandparents, who were repatriated decades ago. By linking their story to the present time, she reminds us of the shameful conditions that persist at the US/Mexico border and the racist and xenophobic policies that continue to shape anti-Mexican sentiment in the US today.

— Priscilla María Page

 

To learn more about dramaturgy, Olvidados, and historical background of the events of the play, visit the UMass Dramaturgy Tumblr at https://umass-digiturgy.tumblr.com/

*** 

Founded in 2003, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, a 501c3 non-profit, award-winning, the only Latina theater company in Orange County, CA, based in downtown Santa Ana—the corazón of the county—came into existence to support the work and enrich the lives of Latinas in the performing arts.  And, through its mission @BOFLTE strives to serve as an incubator for voices that have been historically excluded from theater and the stage by providing programming that offers guidance in the art of storytelling.  The workshops bring seasoned writers, playwrights, and actors to facilitate high quality theater making workshops for our local Orange County residents, surrounding communities, online, and at no cost. No one is ever turned away for lack of experience.  Programming is mostly made possible through individual supporters, like you, and the organization’s artist residency of Cal State University of Fullerton’s Grand Central Arts Center in Downtown Santa Ana. Want to help support? Donate? AND Keep up to date? Sign up to our online newsletter. Follow us on Facebook or @BOFLTE on Twitter and Instagram. Or visit: WWW.BREATHOFFIRE.ORG


Production Credits | Dramaturgical Notes

 

A reading of this play was presented over Zoom on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.
Program information for the Zoom reading:

Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido

By Elisa Gonzales
Music by Moises Vázquez
Directed by Sara Guerrero
Dramaturg: Dr. Priscilla Page
Assistant Dramaturg: Pedro Eler De Carvalho Eiras
Virtual Front of House Manager: Anna-Maria Goossens
Virtual Ushers: Tess Beckwith and Riley Gregoire  

Cast (in order of appearance)  
Stage Directions/Voice of Pedro J. Gonzalez: Jr. Moreno
Elisa/Ensemble: Aleah Tarjick
La Corridista/Ensemble: Carolyn Parker-Fairbain
Paula/Ensemble: Sara Guerrero
Young Celia: Citlalli Sanchez
Older Celia/Ensemble: Kimberlee Perez
Song Demos: Moises Vázquez and Shanelle Darlene

Presented in partnership with Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble (www.breathoffire.org). Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble is a NETWORK OF ENSEMBLE THEATERS NET/TEN Virtual Exploration Grant Recipient and funding from this grant supports the ensemble's online participation in the UMass virtual reading.

Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido, is generously supported by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Research Grant / Healey Endowment Grants.

Hosted by Latinx American Cultural Center (LACC), the UMass Department of Theater, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and the UMass Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success