BEOWULF ALLEY THEATRE COMPANY TO OPEN WORLD PREMIERE OF Noche de los Muertos (NIGHT OF THE DEAD) BY TUCSON’S OWN GAVIN KAYNER
(October 13, 2008 -Tucson, AZ) Beowulf Alley Theatre Company, 11 South 6th Avenue, between Broadway and Congress will open Noche de los Muertos, directed by Sheldon Metz, on Saturday, November 1, 2008 for a three-week run. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. through November 16, 2008. Tickets may be purchased on line at http://www.beowulfalley.org/. The single ticket general price is $20. Online tickets are $18. Flex Passes with (4) admissions are also available for $64. There will be one Preview performance on Friday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. Preview tickets are $10. Children must be at least ten (10) years old.
Noche de los Muertos, performed in English, takes place in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico. The year is 1927. The Cristero Rebellion enter the village forcing the Villagers to confront their government, their faith and each other. Playwright Gavin Kayner explains, “Noche de los Muertos is adapted from a short story I wrote after witnessing the pilgrims walking miles to Magdalena to test their faith and their relationship with God by lifting the head of a sculptural representation of St Francis. It's said if one can lift the head they are right with God. I wondered how a person haunted by their past might react when faced with this ritual. The conflict between church and state became an important strand in the weave. Noche depicits the personal struggle of one man and the struggles of humanity in general as he/we attempt to reconcile the laws of men with the edicts of religion.”
“Noche de los Muertos is particularly relevant today because the battle between church and state is still being fought,” says Sheldon Metz, the Director. “Theatre is meant to entertain and provoke and promote thought. While most plays have a definitive written ending, I try to direct plays to leave the conclusion up to the audience to determine. There’s no greater feeling than hearing the audience discuss (even debate) the ending as they leave. I strive to increase the relevance of theatre in the lives of more people by demonstrating that theatre can uplift, excite, educate and unite communities. Noche de los Muertos is just such a play.”
The Cast includes Anthony Auriemma, Caroleen Latron, Sydney and Vince Flynn, Jordana Franco, Tenoch Gomez, Alex Greengaard, Janet Henderson, Rene Lopez, Esteban Oropeza and Angelica Rodenbeck.
A top ten selection for the Reva Shiner award, a semi-finalist for the Ashland New Play Festival and winner of third place in the Latino/Chicano Library Competition – University of Caifornia, Irvine, Noche de los Muertos is only one of Gavin Kayner’s plays. Kayner has written more than six full length plays, three screenplays, one-act plays and poetry. A Tucson resident since 1958, many know him in his former life as a teacher who was a US West Teacher of the Year nominee, twice selected as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, received multiple nominations to Who's Who in Teaching and received many awards for poetry and prose, published in national periodicals, and teacher training textbooks. Kayner’s play, Thumbs, was produced by Piquant Plays Productions in 2007 on the Baron Stage at Beowulf Alley Theatre. Thumbs was a finalist for the Long Beach Playhouse and National Arts Club new play contests and a semi-finalist for the Julie Harris Award - 2005.
Through grants from Tucson Pima Arts Council, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts, Beowulf Alley Theatre conducted a summer public workshop to give the playwright an opportunity to conduct staged readings, with public attendance and feedback, to hear his words and refine his script.
On Thursday, November 13, Beowulf Alley Theatre Company will host a benefit performance and post-play reception for Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson with a pre-show lobby performance. Founded in 1964, Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson is a youth mariachi group whose multiple purposes are to provide creative and wholesome activity for its members; to develop members' artistic talent and social maturity; to instill in members self esteem and pride in music, language and culture; to develop a sense of community; to promote the City of Tucson; to entertain and bring joy of spirit to others; and to provide college scholarship support to graduating members. Tickets for this worthy benefit are $30 by phone or mail in advance, or $28 online at http://www.beowulfalley.org/. $10 of every ticket is a tax deductible contribution to Los Changuitos Feos, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. For more information, call Beowulf Alley Theatre Company at 882-0555 or Martin at 419-1676.
Beowulf Alley Theatre Company was founded based on dialogues with local professional actors who wanted a permanent home for theatre artists from the Tucson community. Beowulf Alley provides a facility that meets professional standards where performing artists, educators, and technicians can develop and present their skills. And because we utilize a “home grown” talent pool for our productions, we’re committed to helping grow a new generation of Tucson talent with our education programs for young people. True to our roots, we maintain on-going dialogues with Tucson theatre-goers, educators, business professionals, non-profit organizations, hotels and restaurants, and Tucson actors, directors, and technicians.
From September through April, guided by our Artistic Development Committee, Beowulf Alley will offer theatre-goers plays that are award-winners, an original play by a Tucson playwright, and a light-hearted look at a contemporary issue – drama, suspense, and comedy. Writers who cover the Tucson arts scene say we provide our audiences with “the best total package”—plays, performances, and productions that are high in artistic and technical quality.
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