The 2018-19 season for Cara Mía Theatre Co. is all about new places, new works, and new collaborations — not just at the local level, but national and international too.
After last season's successful national tour of Deferred Action, the Latino group is taking another politically charged production on the road. It's also bringing back Teatro En Fuga: A Festival of New Works, with titles written by its resident ensemble members, and a new play reading series.
"We are speaking from the heart of our contemporary Latino experiences with our 18-19 season," says executive artistic director David Lozano. "From a national touring production that touches on the burning issues surrounding immigration to the return of a highly theatrical play for families featuring Mexican folk masks, Cara Mía Theatre's 18-19 season responds to the current political maelstrom with art, culture, and stories that we insist must flow freely across our borders."
First up is a co-production with Ignite/Arts Dallas called WET: A DACAmented Journey. Written and performed by LA-based Alex Alpharoah and directed by Jaime Castañeda (who's the associate artistic director at California's La Jolla Playhouse), the based-on-a-true-story one-man show chronicles one DACA recipient's ongoing battle of living all but his first three months of life in the United States as an undocumented citizen. With all dates in 2018, its tour schedule is:
- Theatre Too (Dallas): September 21-30
- Teatro Vivo (Austin): October 4-7
- Destinos Latino Theatre Festival (Chicago): October 11-13
- St. Joseph’s University (West Hartford, Connecticut): October 18-20
- University of North Texas (Denton): October 31-November 3
- Arts Emerson (Boston): November 8-25
Next up is another collab, this time with Mexico City's Laboratorio de la Máscara (Mask Laboratory). Tina's Journey by Berta Hiriart is a bit reminiscent of the popular animated film Coco, as it's about a young girl, her family, and her ancestors who hope to cross the U.S.-Mexico border before the Day of the Dead holidays. For safe-keeping, Tina takes a piece of her native land in her pocket and leaves a trail of marigolds for her ancestors to safely follow her family across the border. However, Tina's new reality in the United States makes her ill to the edge of death. Directed by Alicia Martínez Álvarez, the show uses contemporary and Mexican folk masks and is performed in Spanish with English supertitles. It runs November 15-December 2, 2018, at the Latino Cultural Center.
The Dallas premiere of Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima starts off 2019, with Lozano at the helm. Based on the award-winning Chicano novel, it tells the story of 6-year-old Antonio Marez and the curandera, or person who heals with herbs and magic, who comes to live with his family in New Mexico during her final days. The tale of faith, healing, and community that's genuine to Mexican-American cultures throughout the Southwest United States runs February 15-March 3, 2019, at the Latino Cultural Center.
Though the titles are TBA, the second Teatro En Fuga: A Festival of New Works is set for April 12-28, 2019. All plays are works in progress and will be presented as an opportunity to see Cara Mía develop new work from within its company for world-premiere productions in future seasons.
Sprinkled throughout the season will also be a series of new play readings. First is a collaboration with The Sol Project in New York: Don't Eat the Mangos by Ricardo Pérez González. Three sisters living outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico, are faced with the daunting task of caring for their cancer-stricken Mami and their wheelchair-bound Papi. Despite being paralyzed, Papi still rules his family through fear, intimidation, and the ringing of a small bell. It will be presented in December 2018.
"What does home mean?" "What does family look like?" "How do we keep our culture's history, stories, and traditions alive?" Grandma’s Empanadas by KJ Sanchez follows in May 2019, asking these questions. This new play explores a community's heritage and identity through music, food, and personal narratives, and was based entirely on interviews with Milwaukee's Latino community.
Closing out the season is Pilgrimage by Cara Mía managing director Ariana Cook. Running in June 2019, it tells of Caroline, a single white mother to two mixed-race teenagers. After her daughter's attempted suicide, and after years of no word from her children's father, she calls her estranged black mother-in-law for help. Grandma Reese's arrival brings tension and the unraveling of a secret family history, shining a light on the complicated politics of identities and families of mixed race.
"These plays revel in the beauty of Latinos and people of color while relentlessly speaking to the challenges of our times," says Lozano. "With this new season, Cara Mía Theatre is putting its best foot forward as a cultural institution."
Single tickets for the main season start at $18, and season passes and memberships range from $50-$250. They can be purchased at www.caramiatheatre.org or by calling the box office at 214-516-0706.