Thu, Apr 07|
Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido
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 1930's.
Time & Location
Apr 07, 2022, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Amherst, 151 Presidents Dr, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
About the Event
Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido
By Elisa Gonzales
Lyrics by Elisa Gonzales
Musical Arrangement, Composition, and Additional Lyrics by Moises Vázquez
Directed by Sara Guerrero
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: Sold through the Fine Arts Center Box Office and at the door.
Prices: $15 general admission, $5 youth, students, and seniors
Content Advisory: Use of racial slurs and discussion of a child’s death
Singing a Corrido of Hope and Resistance
UMASS Amherst presents a heartening new play with music about Mexican American history.
During the Great Depression, over one million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were illegally and unconstitutionally repatriated to Mexico. What they went through has reverberated through successive generations, and among those affected were Professor Elisa Gonzales' great-grandparents. April 7-9, UMass Theater presents a workshop production of Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido, Gonzales' compelling new play with music about her ancestors' experiences.
"I owe so much of what I have been able to accomplish because of my family—my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents—I wanted to find a way to honor their stories and their legacy. Olvidados is my love letter to them," said Gonzales.
This is a workshop production — meaning the piece is a work in progress and likely to undergo further revision — and it is a creative collaboration with Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. We are thrilled to have Breath of Fire Founding Artistic Director Sara Guerrero as director, and Ensemble member Moises Vázquez as the composer and musical director of the play.
Breath of Fire takes as its mission the support and enrichment of the lives of Latinas in visual & performing arts, working to raise awareness of critical issues in the community and to be a catalyst for personal healing and social justice, a goal which fits beautifully with Gonzales' work.
The echoes of racial and ethnic scapegoating from 90 years ago sound eerily familiar in her play, which highlights the corrido as a storytelling form. The corrido is a verse narrative, a story sung to a musical accompaniment, portraying characters engaged in heroic, often tragic, struggles in real or realistic episodes that reflect the language, experiences, and values of common folk. For approximately two hundred years, corridos have been a cherished part of a traditional heritage in various regions of Mexico and the United States.
"Stories like the Repatriation Drives of the 1930s never make it to our classrooms. Telling this story, at this time, feels even more critical as we are witnessing several states adopting laws and policies that would prohibit and restrict the teaching of anything related to race and racism," explained Gonzales.
Come to the Rand Theater at UMass to see and hear us bring this powerful and uplifting story to the stage.
Get your tickets today!
Tickets can be purchased through the Fine Arts Center Box Office (click here to go directly to our events) or at the door before each performance.
Following the run at UMass Theater, Gonzales will perform excerpts of Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido at Latiné Musical Theatre Lab 4x15 at Teatro Latea in New York City on April 12, 2022.
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.
More About the Artists:
ELISA GONZALES, Originally from Riverside, California, Elisa Gonzales is a performer, educator, and voice/speech/dialect coach. She is currently the Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting at UMass Amherst. Elisa is a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and a candidate for certification in Knight-Thompson Speechwork. Elisa received her MFA in Theatre Performance from Arizona State University, and has a BFA in Acting from Emerson College. In addition to her experience in various voice and movement methodologies and training, Elisa has extensive training in Lecoq, Rasaboxes, Viewpoints, Meisner, and voice over work. As a performer, Elisa’s work has been seen at the New York International Fringe Festival, the Nuyorican Poets Café, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the La Jolla Playhouse, Arizona State University, and the Tempe History Museum. Elisa’s greatest passion in theatre is creating and performing work that honors cultural identity, ancestry, history, and the voice. www.elisagonzales.com
SARA GUERRERO, a Southern California native, is a professional versatile theatre artist whose mission is to model, share, and create theatre-making opportunities for and with their community. A CalArts alum, they’ve been recognized as “People to Watch” by American Theatre Magazine, “Best [Artistic] Director'' and “Person of Interest” by OC WEEKLY, a 2021 & ‘22 Woman of Distinction by California Senate District-34, and a 2020 Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence Honoree. As the founding artistic director of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, she and the ensemble are Artists-in-Residence of California State University of Fullerton’s Grand Central Arts Center. Under Guerrero’s leadership, the organization serves as an incubator for historically excluded voices in theater by providing programming and guidance in the art of storytelling. She continues to direct both on the professional stage and higher education. Her directing credits include Policarpa, Guadalupe in the Guest Room, Canto de Anaheim, The Madres, Atacama, She Kills Monsters, Essentials, Real Women Have Curves, Blood Wedding, and etc. Recently her new play “Have To Believe We Are Magic” was featured in Teatro Vivo’s Austin Latinx NewPlay Festival and Tu y Yo Theatre(CSUSM) Project. Full bio, visit: www.teatroguerrero.com
MOISES VÁZQUEZ is a composer and musician/songwriter based in Orange County/LA. His music has its roots in traditional Mexican music, Contemporary Latin Grooves, Rock and Hip Hop. He has composed and performed original music for South Coast Repertory, San Diego Repertory, Pacific Symphony, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Brown Bag Theater of UC Irvine, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Breath Of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Orange County New Play Festival, The Musco Center, SanArts, Arts Orange County and El Centro Cultural Cultural De México.
BREATH OF FIRE LATINA THEATER ENSEMBLE — 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