Photo Flash: Sneak Peek at Blanca Aguero in Aurora Theatre's MARIELA IN THE DESERT

Aurora Theatre continues the 2013-2014 Harvel Lab Series with a Teatro del Sol production, Mariela in the Desert by Karen Zacarías. It is 1950 and artists Mariela and José are living an isolated existence in the desert of Northern Mexico, haunted by the ghost of their young son. José is very ill and Mariela sends a telegram to their daughter encouraging her to come home. Where once the walls were beautifully decorated, now only one painting remains, and it is shrouded in mystery. This play will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles. This production features an amazing cast including the stunning Blanca Agüero in the title role of Mariela and Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony P. Rodriguez as her husband, the ailing artist José. Scroll down to see some pictures of Blanca Aguero from the show!

Karen Zacarías' award-winning plays include The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, an adaptation of Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and the adaptation of Helen Thorpe's nonfiction book Just Like Us. Her TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma include Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure, Einstein Is a Dummy, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Jane of the Jungle, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans, Ferdinand the Bull and Frida Libre. Her plays have been produced at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Round House Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, San Jose Repertory Theatre and more. Her awards include 2010 Steinberg/ACTA New Play Citation, National Francesca Primus Prize, the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Award, National Latino Playwriting Award and a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. Additionally, Zacarías was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is currently a playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage and teaches at Georgetown University. Zacarías is the founder of Young Playwrights' Theater, an award-winning theatre company that teaches playwriting in local public schools.

Founded by Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director, Anthony P. Rodriguez, Teatro del Sol is a Spanish language theatre initiative whose goal is the preservation of Hispanic cultural heritage. The Atlanta Regional Commission reports Gwinnett is the most diverse county in the Southeastern United States. Teatro del Sol produces professional programming to better serve the rapidly growing Hispanic community in Metropolitan Atlanta. Mr. Rodriguez, a first generation American of Cuban decent, saw the need to serve this large demographic as a fundamental passion.

Aurora Theatre Artistic Director Anthony P. Rodriguez says, "This past October, I attended the Latino Theatre Commons National Convening in Boston. Through this historic event, I realized that I was in a unique position to be able to employ more Latino artists at Aurora. So we did. Renowned director Tlaloc Rivas, from the University of Iowa and one of the busiest directors in the Midwest, is a friend of Karen Zacarías and a big fan of her work, so he made the commitment to spearhead the entire project, supertitles and all." He goes on to say, "Designers like Regina Garcia and Maria Cristina Fusté are naturally drawn to work that speaks to the richness of our community. Mariela not only explores the culture behind Mexican Expressionism and great artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, but how we deal with personal tragedy in our family."

Now in its 18th Season, Aurora Theatre produces professional live entertainment to suit everyone's taste. Aurora Theatre is home to over 550 events each year. Two series of theatrical productions include the Brand Signature Series and Harvel Lab Series comprised of the biggest Broadway plays and musicals alongside exciting contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, stand-up comedy, children's programs, metro Atlanta's top haunted attraction Lawrenceville Ghost Tours, as well as Atlanta's only professional Spanish language theatre, Teatro Del Sol. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performance venues. Nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, Aurora has FREE attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include winner of Seven 2013 Suzi Bass Awards, Creative Loafing's 2010 Best Theatre Company, Georgia Trend Magazine's 2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia, Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2012 Best Places to Work and Atlanta Magazine's Best of Atlanta 2013.

The cast of Mariela in the Desert also features Michelle Rivera-Huckaby (Olivia), Julissa Sabino (Blanca), Ricardo Aponte (Carlos), and Luis Hernandez (Adam).

The production staff features Tlaloc Rivas (director), Anthony Rodriguez (producer), Ann-Carol Pence (associate producer), Sergi Rubio (stage manager), Regina Garcia (set designer), Maria Cristina Fuste (lighting designer), Abby Parker (costume designer), Daniel Terry (sound designer/assistant technical director), Heather Schroeder (props designer), Megan Managhan Rivas (dramaturg), Sarah Thomson (scenic artist), Katie Pelkey (company manager), James Helms (technical director), and Stephanie Polhemus (scenic design assistant).

Mariela in the Desert runs April 10-27, 2014. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 678.226.6222 or visiting www.auroratheatre.com.

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