ARDIENTE PACIENCIA: Pablo Neruda, Poetry & Love Set for Milagro Theatre, Now thru 3/8
This year Portland celebrates two of the most renowned poets laureate of the 20th century, one each from North and South America: William Stafford and Pablo Neruda.
Remembrance of the legacy of these important poets, whose work has influenced and inspired people around the world, started back in September with "Noche de Neruda" an homage by the writers of Los Porteños on the fortieth anniversary of the death of the Chilean poet laureate, presented during Milagro's festival La Luna Nueva. This was followed by our friends at Literary Arts, who presented the Delve seminar "Whitman & Neruda: The Empathic Imagination" in November 2013.
As Los Porteños now develop their new work based on the writing of William Stafford, Literary Arts will launch its celebration of Stafford's centennial on Jan 22 with a new Delve seminar to honor Stafford, who was named Oregon's Poet Laureate in 1975.
A celebration of the romantic verses of the Nobel Prize winning Pablo Neruda, as well as the final events of his life, will take place during the first trimester in 2014. The reprise of "Noche de Neruda" at Literary Arts on Jan 30 will be followed by Milagro's production Ardiente Paciencia, a theatre performance based on Antonio Skármeta's acclaimed book "El cartero de Neruda" opening at the Milagro Theatre this Valentine's day.
Ardiente Paciencia has captivated the imagination of hundreds of audiences around the world since its publication in 1983, and it has become one of the most iconic Chilean stories and the inspiration for the 1995 Academy Award-winning movie, Il Postino. Milagro is thrilled to bring back to Portland the original Spanish-language version of the play, filled with Neruda's poetry. Set in the coastal area of Quisco, central Chile, west of Santiago, in the town of Isla Negra, Ardiente Paciencia beguiles us with Neruda's lyrical poetry, comedy and romance. Befriending Mario, the local postman, Neruda unwittingly offsets himself up as matchmaker and defender of the love between Mario and Beatriz, in spite of the opposition presented by the young woman's mother.
The story line of Ardiente Paciencia, covers the final years of Neruda as he experienced the thrill of becoming the first, and only, male Chilean winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature - an award previously won only by poet Gabriela Mistral. Skármeta's play also alludes to the transformational years in the political and social dynamics of Chile, when the Socialist Party gained popularity and political power leading to the election of Salvador Allende, an outspoken Marxist leader, as president. Allende would later appoint Neruda as the Chilean ambassador to France, but his regime would be put down by the right-wing military through a violent coup d'état lead by Augusto Pinochet, who became President in 1974.
Directed by Olga Sanchez, Ardiente Paciencia features talented local Latino actors like no other production in the Pacific Northwest. Pablo Neruda is embodied by the multifaceted Enrique Andrade, who informs his role with his love of poetry and dramatic sensibilities. Sharing the stage with Andrade is powerhouse actress Sofía May-Cuxim in the role of Rosa, the mother of the beautiful Beatriz, in turn played by Siumara Samayoa, last seen in Milagro's 2013 production of La Celestina. Javier J. Mendoza will make his Milagro Theatre debut as Mario, the lovesick postman.
ABOUT THE PLAY: In the small paradise town of Isla Negra on the Chilean coast, renowned poet laureate Pablo Neruda teaches Mario, a young lovesick postman, how to woo and win beautiful Beatriz with passionate poetry. This charming story of friendship and romance is set amid the turbulent political environment of Chile in the 70's, and the rise of Pinochet's military regime.
Enrique Andrade......Pablo Neruda
Javier J Mendoza.....Mario
Kaye Blankenship.....Lighting Design
Rory Stitt......Sound Design
Jen LaMastra.....Set Design
Marychris Mass.....Costume Design
Estela Robinson.....Production Manager
Gavin Hales.....Stage Manager
Eric Lyness.....Technical Director WHERE: Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97214
Admission: $15 - $26; discounts for students, seniors, groups of 15+ and advance purchases
Tickets can be purchased from www.milagro.org or 503-236-7253.
ABOUT MILAGRO: For more than 29 years, Milagro has been dedicated to bringing the vibrancy of Latino theatre to the Northwest community. In addition to its national tours, Milagro provides a home for Spanish and Latin American arts and culture at El Centro Milagro, where it enriches the local community with a variety of community outreach projects and educational programs designed to share the diversity of Latino culture. For more information about Milagro, visit www.milagro.org or call 503-236-7253. Copyright © 2014 Milagro Theatre Group, All rights reserved.