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Interview: Director Daniel Jáquez on helping MÍA: ALL MINE at Bocón make its US premiere in English and Spanish performances

Now though November 20th.

Interview: Director Daniel Jáquez on helping MÍA: ALL MINE at Bocón make its US premiere in English and Spanish performances MÍA: ALL MINE makes its US premiere with a powerful and thoughtful play for theatre audiences of all ages. Presented by Bocón, a theatre company that has dedicated itself to creating art for audiences of all ages, director Daniel Jáquez talks about working on this show and directing it for English and Spanish performances through November 20th.

Bocón has been presenting theatrical works that are collaborative and dedicated to being empowering as well as educational for audiences of all ages. With a specialty in creating works that work for younger audiences as well as exploring various multicultural perspectives, it made sense that the production of MÍA: ALL MINE would be presented in multiple languages.

Director Daniel Jáquez, a co-founder of San Diego's TuYo Theatre was immediately intrigued by helping bring this beautiful, sad, and hopeful story to the stage to showcase the power of hope and imagination.

Originally written in Spanish by Amaranta Leyva and translated by Carmen Rivera, the play makes its US premiere. In it, the audience is introduced to 8-year-old Mía who has made a decision to leave her home with her mother, as living at the house has become difficult and sad. She goes into a room and finds her old friend Sinforoso and together they learn about the power of being brave.

Jáquez says that initially, it was the unique point of view that captured his interest.

"I felt Mía's story was moving, honest, and from a point of view that I was not familiar with from the moment I read it."

His introduction to the show started with The Lark's U.S./Mexico Playwright Exchange where the play was selected for a translation residency at the award-winning Lark Play Development Center in New York City.

"It was a competitive bi-national selection process on which The Lark collaborated with FONCA (National Endowment for Culture and Arts from the Mexican Federal government). There is a list of many recognized authors that have gone through the process during its 12-year existence. This was the first Theater for Young Audiences play we had chosen. Amaranta Leyva's was paired up with the talented and much-produced Nuyorican playwright Carmen Rivera Tirado and the residency was directed by me."

Now, bringing this play to the stage in English as well as Spanish has allowed him to approach the piece from both sides, which allows for a deeper and more powerful understanding of the show and the performances.

"I have to honor the original language as the one that created the source material. I began by casting fully bilingual actors - which San Diego has many- to play the roles. One was stronger in one language than the other and vice versa. We worked on language, we worked on clarity in two languages. We tapped into the body's memory that gets created with our life experiences. Some words are more powerful in one language than the other. We explored both fully. Rehearsing in two languages added depth and truth to the actor's storytelling."

Another change was having one character of the two-person show be fully inhabited by a performer on stage.

"I loved exploring the text in both languages and proposed to Amaranta to let me work it with a live actor - as opposed to a puppet/puppeteer... the result was extraordinary- cause we had an extraordinary actor. Now I've found the right actor again."

Creating a show for all ages can be challenging enough, but adding in the delicacy of a more serious topic meant that it had to be accessible to all ages as well as interesting. Daniel found returning to the script helped guide him to the best ways to direct this story.

"I had to push myself to work against the text when needed, tap into my physical training and choose large physical gestures of joy and nostalgia while reminding the cast that the story is about strength and joy and finding solutions. Amaranta is a professional TYA storyteller. It shows in her writing and her capacity to not talk down to children about difficult issues. I followed her example."

The best art leaves audiences thinking and talking about what they experienced after they leave the performance and Daniel hopes that this show not only sparks those conversations but also the desire to play, and tap into the power of their imagination as well.

"Theatre sometimes tackles the issues we in real life refuse to confront or talk about. I hope audiences leave with new possibilities for starting these difficult conversations and play. To tap into their power of imagination, and experience the power of witnessing the storytelling, live with a community of strangers."

Bocón is doing an incredible job at what theatre does best: fostering empathy and understanding. Thank you Bocón for choosing this play and me to direct it."

MIA by Amaranta Leyva (Spanish) and MÍA: ALL MINE by Carmen Rivera (English) and directed by Daniel Jáquez from Bocón is playing at Woodburry University School of Architecture from November 11-20, 2022.

You can also follow them on social media at @boconarts @djaquezp

Tickets start at $10 dollars and can be purchased at: https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2208267®id=80&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fyeyukw4s?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1

Performance dates and times are as follows:

FRI. Nov 11@ 7pm- English

SAT. Nov 12 @ 2pm- English

SAT. Nov 12 @ 5:30pm- Spanish

SUN. Nov 13 @ 2pm- Spanish

SUN. Nov 13 @ 5:30pm- English

FRI. Nov 18 @ 7pm- Spanish

SAT. Nov 19 @2pm- Spanish

SAT. Nov 19 @5:30pm- English

SUN. Nov 20@ 2pm- English

SUN. Nov 20@ 5:30pm- Spanish

Photo Credit: Bocón Theatre




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