Hi everyone -- There's a lot going on during this festival (see Web site for complete listing), but I really want to point out the FREE play readings of some very exciting work that you won't find anywhere else in town. These are free and open -- no reservations required.We're still putting together the complete director/cast lists and I'll post those as soon as they are available.• “Lydia” written by Octavio Solis One staged reading • 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14, 2009 • Free • Presented in EnglishOne of the hottest new plays on the regional theater circuit, Lydia is an expertly crafted, shocking play of discovery, a lyrical and magical meditation on family and cultural identity. The Flores family welcomes Lydia, an undocumented maid, into their El Paso home to care for a daughter who was tragically disabled three days before her quinceanera. The two women’s mysterious and nearly miraculous bond threatens to expose long-buried secrets and destroy the troubled family. Mature themes. • “La conspiración vendida” (Conspiracy Sold) written by Jorge Ibargüengoitia One staged reading • 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 • Free • Presented in SpanishIn this award-winning play commissioned in 1959, Mexican novelist and playwright Jorge Ibargüengoitia knocks history off its pedestal, parodying the events that precipitated the Mexican War of Independence, with an intention to demythologize the country’s heroic insurgence through a unique tangle of adventures.• “Claudia Meets Fulano Colorado” written by Portland playwright Joann Farías One staged reading • 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 • Free • Presented in EnglishIn the 1950s, the Mexican-American Mephistopheles Fulano Colorado tempts everyone in this small West Texas neighborhood with what they want but do not need: 10-year-old orphan girl Claudia, with a millionaire father in California; young wife Rosa and Tony with the money to cover Tony's gambling debts that threaten to consume their home; middle-aged José and Felicia the reasons to descend into abuse; and old Concha and Narciso the perspective to look dimly on their rich lives. In the end, he is run out of town, but only after everyone bands together to affirm and help one another. • “Boleros for the Disenchanted” written by José Rivera One staged reading • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 • Free • Presented in EnglishOBIE Award winner José Rivera (A.C.T.'s Brainpeople, Marisol), the Academy Award–nominated screenwriter of The Motorcycle Diaries, returns to his native Puerto Rico to explore the ineffable dreams of lovers. In one of his most personal works, passion and humor collide in an exuberant village in 1953, where Flora's search for true love follows an unexpected course. A bold, moving second act, set almost 40 years later in America, probes the darker mysteries of marriage. This brilliant new work reverberates with the gorgeous sounds of Latin love songs, or boleros.• “I Am Celso”, from writings of New Mexican poet-artist Leo Romero, adapted by Rubén Sierra & Jorge Huerta One staged reading • 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 • Free • Presented in EnglishPoet Leo Romero brought the magic of his regional culture to a national audience, not by merely describing traditions, but rather by evoking the complex and lyrical orality that lies so close to its collective soul. This one-man drama based on Romero’s writings features the bittersweet reminiscences of Celso, an old philosopher of the barrio and local drunk who preaches “the holy gospel of the grape” and shares colorful tales of ecstasy, terror and adventure that range from a shocking desecration of a Sunday Mass to an encounter with La Llorona, the Southwestern Medea said to roam the mountains wailing for her lost children.
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