CUENTAME COYOTE to Open 1/9 at Milagro Theatre
Milagro presents Cuéntame Coyote, written and directed by Dañel Malán. Milagro's 2014 Touring Production runs Jan 9-25, 2014, playing Thu at 7:30 pm; Fri - Sat at 8:00 pm; and Sun at 2:00pm at the Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark St). Tickets: $15 - $24. Available at www.milagro.org or by calling 503-236-7253.
According to the Oxford dictionary for American English a border is "a line separating two political or geographical areas, especially countries". The US-Mexico border, about 1954 miles long, has been challenged for years by illegal border crossing. Year after year, hundreds of undocumented immigrants are found dead in their tracks through the desert, and many of those who make it to the other side find more difficulties than the ones they left behind in search of a better future.
Tales of illegal border crossing inspired Dañel Malán's original Cuéntame Coyote in 2005, but the constantly changing political dynamic and lack of humane solutions motivated Malán to want to learn more. With the support of an Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant, Malán traveled to the heart of the Arizona borderlands in search of real stories of the dangers and risks of border crossing to renew the timeless tale of Cuéntame Coyote.
During her trip, Malán met local community members, activist groups, and toured to key locations within the Tohono O'odham land, across both sides of the border. In Arizona, Malán interviewed Professor Raquel Rubio Goldstein, of the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona; Paco Velez from Wingspan an organization that provides services to LGBTQ immigrants; Raul Alcatraz from the day laborers organization Southside Worker Center; and Juanita Molina, Executive Director of Humane Borders, an organization that provides water stations in the desert. In addition, Malán spent time with tribal members of the Tohono O'odham, learning about their history, tribal stories and traditions.
Malán's experiences during her trip gave her a deeper understanding of the wide spectrum of factors that surround the issue of border crossing and illegal immigration though the desert. In her new work, sacred traditions of the Tohono O'odham Nation have been fused with immigrant tales of the dangers of the desert: dehydration, poisonous creatures and a relentlessly harsh climate.
Hardship and hope fuel Cuéntame Coyote, a story about a dream of a better future and the price we are willing to pay.
ABOUT THE PLAY: Journey through cold, dark desert nights with two cousins desperately dreaming of a better future beyond the iron fence that marks la frontera. Fleeing sorrow and hopelessness, they follow coyotes of two legs and four, stepping over dried bones scorched by the sun, chased by a wind that murmurs tales of Santa Muerte. Amid the dangers that lurk, ready to pounce, in that arid expanse they risk their lives with no one to trust but each other. Will their steps lead to the dreams they seek or vanish in the desert sands like so many before? Join us for this touching story of courage and perseverance based on true border crossing stories.
Alida Holguín Gunn.....Maria
Mariel Sierra.....Rita and Various Roles
Erubiel Valladares Carranza.....Los Coyotes
Maya Malán-González .....Assistant Director
Katelan Braymer.............Lighting Designer
Rory Stitt.......Sound Designer
Tomás Rivero.....Mural Artist
Will Gebo...........Stage Manager
Eric Lyness...Technical Director
SPECIAL EVENT - WALK WITH THE COYOTE (COMPANION ART INSTALLATION):
In conjunction with the play, Milagro is pleased to present an art installation created by Susana Espino that explores the experience of crossing the desert. Situated in the Zócalo room adjacent to Milagro's lobby, the installation includes the "Latino Roots Exhibit" depicting images and first-hand stories of immigrants, made possible with the collaborative efforts of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies. The installation is free and open to the public one hour prior to each performance, as well as by appointment during the week for educational groups. WHERE: Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97214
Admission: $15 - $24; 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.