DNAWORKS Brings CASCARONES to Teatro Paraguas Tonight

By: Sep. 04, 2014
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DNAWORKS, in collaboration with Teatro Paraguas, will present the world premiere of "Cascarones" by Irma Mayorga at Teatro Paraguas opening tonight, September 4, 2014 and running for 8 performances. Developed at the O'Neill Playwrights conference at the Eugene O'Neill Center in 2003, "Cascarones" is directed by DNAWORKS co-founder Daniel Banks.

"Cascarones" takes place in San Antonio, Texas, as teenager Mary Margaret Caceres, who works for the transit authority giving people bus route directions, attempts to understand the mapping of her community and city. As she navigates the daily challenges her working class family faces, she encounters, in a dreamlike state, John Wesley Powell, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, and other men whose actions in the past influence her present.

Banks sets the play between two facing sides of the audience, representing the Grand Canyon that Powell was the first to map and where the Caceres family vacationed when Mary Margaret was a young girl. The cast includes Nicholas Ballas, Nicole Gramlich, Jonathan Harrell, Marcos Kelly, Roger Montoya, Bernadette Peña and Cristina Vigil.

A staged reading of "Cascarones" was held at Teatro Paraguas in February 2014, attracting the breadth of Santa Fe's communities. A moving community dialogue followed the reading resulting in audience members having a deeper understanding of Chicano culture and history. One audience member remarked, "This is just the kind of theatre Santa Fe needs in order to bring people together."

Banks states: "I attended the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and saw the staged workshop of "Cascarones". I was incredibly moved by the story and the complex dramaturgy of the script. I asked Irma for a copy of the play and taught it at NYU to undergraduate drama students. I always knew I would direct it one day and, when I arrived in Santa Fe four years ago, I immediately felt that this was the city where 'Cascarones' needed to be widely heard."

Irma Mayorga will be in Santa Fe during the rehearsal and development period as an Artist-in-Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute through their Community Partnership Initiative.

"Cascarones" is co-produced by Teatro Paraguas, in collaboration with Associate Producers Nicholas Ballas, Estevan Rael-Gálvez and Juan Rios, Diane Karp, Lisa Samuel and Les Samuel, and Roxanne Swentzell. Funding for the project comes from the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the McCune Visual Performing Arts grant through the NM Community Foundation, and over 100 donors who contributed through a successful Indiegogo campaign.

Tickets are $15 (Full Price), $10 (Fixed Income), $5 (Children). Tickets to the Gala Performance and reception on Saturday, September 6 are $100.00. To purchase tickets, call (866) 394-6033.

About the Author:
Dr. Irma Mayorga is a scholar/artist in theater and currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at Dartmouth College. She holds an M.F.A. in Costume Design (UW-Madison) and a Joint Ph.D. in Drama and the Humanities from Stanford University. From Stanford, she also holds the distinction of attaining the first Ph.D. by a Latina/o in the Drama Department's history. An award winning playwright, her work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference. Her research interests include contemporary theater and performance by people of color, women's theatre and performance, Chicana and Chicano expressive culture, and, more broadly, U.S. Latina/o identity and representation. In 2011 the University of Texas Press published a second edition of her play "The Panza Monologues". She is currently at work on a manuscript entitled: "Chicana Stages: Performance, Theatricality, Chicana Expressive Culture".

About the Director:
Daniel Banks PhD is a theatre director, choreographer, educator, and dialogue facilitator. He has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarussian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York and Washington, D.C.), the Oval House (London), Playhouse Square (Cleveland), and served as choreographer/movement director for productions at New York Shakespeare Festival/ Shakespeare in the Park, Singapore Repertory Theatre, La Monnaie/De Munt (Brussels), Landestheater (Saltzburg), Aaron Davis Hall (Harlem), and for Maurice Sendak/The Night Kitchen. Daniel has served on the faculties of the Department of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and the MFA in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University, and the M.A. in Applied Theatre at City University of New York. He has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Daniel is the founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that uses Hip Hop Theatre to promote youth self-expression and leadership training. HHTI has worked on campuses and in communities across the U.S. and in Ghana, South Africa, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Israel, Serbia, the U.K., and Mexico. He is editor of the critical anthology of Hip Hop Theatre plays "Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater" (University of Michigan Press).

About DNAWORKS: Dialogue and Healing through the Arts
In 2006, Adam McKinney and Daniel Banks, Ph.D., co-founded DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization committed to using the arts to catalyze dialogue on social issues important to the communities in which they live and work. DNAWORKS has led programming and workshops across the U.S. and internationally, and has presented its multi-media, genealogical dance journey "HaMapah/The Map" at festivals and in such locations as Saratoga Springs, NY, Belgrade, Serbia, Spoleto, Italy, Ourense, Spain, and Santa Fe, NM.

About Teatro Paraguas:
Teatro Paraguas promotes Hispanic and Latino poetry, literature and theater through bilingual presentations of classic and contemporary works, celebrating the history, richness and diversity of Hispanic and Latino cultures. Teatro Paraguas maintains a 55-seat studio theatre not only for its own productions but as a community resource for performing and literary arts in northern New Mexico and an incubator for emerging theatre groups, youth groups, individual performers, poets and musicians. Teatro Paraguas is committed to working with teens and young people from both native Hispanic and immigrant families.


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