IYA THE ESSELEN REMEMBER Gets Staged Readings in Salinas & San Jose
IYA The Esselen Remember is a powerful new script written by contemporary playwright Luis "xago" Juárez of Baktun 12 and directed by Kinan Valdez of Teatro Campesino. The play addresses past and present issues surrounding the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation.
These staged reading performances are part of the creative process that is essential to developing the script for a full production of the play (estimated to be in November 2018). As such, feedback and input from the audience is a welcome and necessary part of the play's evolution to the full stage. Admission is free to the presentations and each performance will be followed by a question and answer period with the audience.
IYA The Esselen Remember is a story about love and the importance of keeping the sacred traditions and culture of the Esselen people alive and thriving.
Set on the Monterey Peninsula, IYA The Esselen Remember tells the story of the Esselen by incorporating the tribe's creation myth, historical accounts depicting the Spanish Mission period, the Mexican-Californio era, and the U.S. occupation and settlement and the continuing battle of Federal recognition, sovereignty and Most Likely Descendents rights to claim and rebury ancestors remains.
The play also focuses on contemporary concerns such as land-rights, gentrification and displacement, issues that face both the indigenous and non-indigenous populations in Monterey and Santa Clara counties.
The script of IYA uses the English language and also incorporates Esselen and Spanish to indicate the past and present, native and colonial, histories of the Central Coast. Iya is the Esselen word for bones.
OCEN Tribal Chairwoman Louise J. Miranda Ramirez said it's important to tell the stories of OCEN people through creative mediums. "How will you, the audience member, or anyone know how important our Ancestors are to our lives today unless we look for ways to tell you?" said Ramirez. "We must share how we feel; how we feel the pain of colonization that affected our Ancestors and continues for our people today."
The concept for the creation of IYA was originally funded by the Christensen Fund and the California Arts Council. The first renditions of the new work were performed as a script in November 2015 at the World Theater, CSU Monterey Bay with the support of the CSUMB College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The relationship with CSUMB in turn led to the current plan to present the next manifestation of IYA at the CSUMB affiliate the National Steinbeck Center near to Baktun 12's home turf in Salinas followed by a presentation with Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) in San Jose.
These performances of IYA The Esselen Remember have been funded in part by the California Arts Council's Local Impact program and the Arts & Culture grants program of the Arts Council for Monterey County.
IF YOU GO:
Baktun 12, the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation and SF International Arts Festival Present
IYA The Esselen Remember
A New Play in Development-Presented in Salinas and San Jose
At National Steinbeck Center Salinas (Friday), 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901 and MACLA San Jose (Saturday), 510 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113
Fri. Nov. 10, 7:00pm, Sat. Nov. 11, 7:00pm
Call 415-399-9554 or visit www.sfiaf-archive.org/iya_staged_reading for more information.