Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Borderlands Theater presents the world premiere of Sonoran Shadows


From: Borderlands Theater []
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1:46 PM
Subject: PLEASE SHARE! Sonoran Shadows






Borderlands Theater presents the world premiere of Sonoran Shadows, a shadow play based on Patricia Preciado Martin's El Milagro and Other Stories, excerpted and adapted for the stage by Milta Ortiz. The family friendly spectacle will be staged outdoors at Armory Park Band Shell and Oury Recreation Center. Art direction by Cristina Cardenas. Marc David Pinate directs. Audience members are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks.


Los buquis (kids) from the ol' neighborhood have front row seats to Nana's Sunday matador ritual; a Westside girl yearns to be a dancer, a flash flood releases ancestral spirits; and other local folktales come to life through the magic of shadow puppetry. Experience, reminisce and celebrate the richness of Tucson's Sonoran heritage.

Sonoran Shadows is a captivating shadow play based on Patricia Preciado Martin's short stories and local folktales. This ritual of remembrance takes its form from the ancient Balinese shadow tradition still active today. Activities begin at sundown with a blessing by Aztec dancers, Xochilpilli Centeotl, followed by a brief pre-show discussion with author Patricia Preciado Martin. Also featuring two shadow plays by students from Borderlands Theater's shadow theatre workshop in collaboration with the Tucson High Drama Department.


Shadow play, which is also known as shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling, which uses flat, cutout figures (shadow puppets) held between a source of light and a translucent screen. The cutout shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.


As the latest iteration of Borderlands' Barrio Stories Project, and in the spirit of celebrating local folklore and heritage, Sonoran Shadows  is a high art-community based collaborative project. A seasoned team of lead artists - playwright, art director, and director - worked towards a unified vision and crafted a template for community members to engage in art making.

Last summer community members signed up for a master artist workshop with internationally renowned shadow master Larry Reed. That workshop segued to an eight-week summer puppet build where volunteers, along with students of the workshop, assisted art director Cristina Cardenas in the construction of the puppets and backdrops. Cardenas designed the puppets and backdrops while volunteers helped with tens of hours of intricate cutting out and augmenting the artful puppets.

Pinate, the visionary behind the project and Borderlands' artistic director, explained his inspiration for Sonoran Shadows stating, "The Balinese, who began this art form at least 5000 years ago, have perfected this affective mixture of spectacle, storytelling, and community ritual. My hope is to transplant part of that form into our desert soil to create an inviting, communal space for the ritual of storytelling."

Pinate is also directing a group of theater students through a collaboration between Borderlands Theater and Tucson High Magnet School's drama department. The teens will contribute two of their own shadow plays based on folk stories collected in two previous oral history projects - one, Tales Told In Our Barrio collected in 1984 by students at Carrillo Elementary and the other, A Path To The River, collected in 2000 by students at Davis Bilingual Elementary School and Roskruge Bilingual Middle School, Pinate uses the techniques he learned studying and working with Larry Reed for several years in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Patricia Preciado Martin is a native Arizonan and lifetime Tucsonan. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona in 1960. After teaching in Riverside, California she served in the Peace Corps in Belize, Central America, where she met and married fellow volunteer, Jim Martin. They returned to Tucson in 1969 when her husband became part of the original faculty of Pima College. A homemaker and stay at home Mom, Patricia had her first book, a bilingual children's story titled The Legend of the Bellringer of San Agustin, published in 1979. She has spent the last 25 years documenting the history, culture, and traditions of Mexican Americans in Arizona through her nonfiction and fiction books. She has had six books published by the University of Arizona Press including three oral histories and three collections of short fiction. Her three non fiction works include — Images and Conversations: Mexican Americans Recall A Southwestern Past; Winner of the McCormick Scully Award the year of its publication (Best history by a Chicana/o author,) Songs My Mother Sang to Me: An Oral History of Mexican American Women; and Beloved Land, which as published in 2004. Her short story collections, all published by the University of Arizona Press, are Days of Plenty, Days of Want; El Milagro and Other Stories; and Amor Eterno: Eleven Lessons of Love, winner of the Southwest Book Award for fiction.

Patricia served on the Arizona Humanities Council Speakers' Bureau for ten years. She has received many honors, including U of A Hispanic Alumni Distinguished Service Award; Arizona Library Association Arizona Author of the Year; Arizona Humanities Council Distinguished Public Scholar; Mujer 2000 Committee Award; UC Irvine Chicano/ Latino Literary Award; Salpointe Alumni Hall of Fame and the Sharlott Hall Museum Hall of Fame.


Milta Ortiz is a playwright from the Bay Area now in Tucson by way of Chicago. Currently working on Solving for X (playwright/director) for the Working Classroom in Albuquerque, NM, 20th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, and Sanctuary. As an NNPN playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater, she wrote and developed Mas, selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival, and premiered at Borderlands Theater in fall 2015, nominated for an American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and Citations, and a Tucson Mac award for best drama. Mas was co-produced in the Bay Area by Laney College in March 2016 and Ubuntu Theater Project in May 2016 and will go on an Arizona University tour in the 2016/17 season. Other produced plays include Sonoran Shadows (a shadow play,) 19th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Disengaged, 18th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Fleeing Blue (university production,) Scatter My Red Underwear. Milta worked extensively as a teaching artist and received individual artist grants to write, develop and produce her solo work in the Bay Area, and as a founding member of the HyPE theater ensemble she devised pieces to be performed site specifically and on stage. She teaches theater at Pima Community College. Milta earned an M.F.A. from Northwestern University's Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a Creative Writing B.A. from San Francisco State University. Milta's day job is Marketing & Outreach Director at Borderlands Theater. She is proud to be mommy to a bubbly toddler.


Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cristina Cardenas studied art there (B.A. in painting in 1980) and at the University of Arizona, Tucson (M.F.A. in printmaking in 1990.) In 1994 she completed a ceramic mural for a minimum-security prison in Tucson where she currently resides. She has won many regional awards. Cardenas developed her approach to art following the tradition of the Mexican muralists. Through her friendships with Arizona artists Luis Carlos Bernal, Alfred Quiroz and Luis Jimenez, Cardenas began to tackle issues of a more political and personal nature using Amate paper as a vehicle to connection with the ancestors. The Amate paper is made from the same Aztec recipe the Otomi Indians used for several centuries. Her large-scale works on Amate paper reflect Cardenas' desire to link earth to soul.

Museum Collections:

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago, IL

Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

The Mexican Museum San Francisco, CA

University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ



Marc David Pinate is a theatre artist, musician and educator. His acting career includes work with Teatro Vision, Shadowlight Productions, Su Teatro, Campo Santo and the Magic Theatre. As a director he has worked with El Teatro Campesino and Stanford University in California; Steppenwolf and American Theatre Company in Chicago; and Arizona Theatre Company to name a few. His directorial aesthetic merges performance and the sacred to create liminal spaces where experiments with form and physicality engender affective moments of beauty and healing. Marc was the recipient of a three-year directing residency funded by the Doris Duke Foundation at La Pella Cultural Center in Berkeley, California. During his residency he founded the Hybrid Performance Experiment (The HyPE) known for their guerrilla theatre performances on Bay Area Rapid Transit trains and mall food courts. Marc was a member of the spoken word troupe, Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word for which received a National Performance Network commission in 2004 to co-author Fear of a Brown Planet. He is a National Slam Poetry Champion and fronted the band, Grito Serpentino, a spoken word and music ensemble that toured throughout the country and produced two albums. Marc was a program director at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a Latino arts center in San Jose, California and at the historic, Galeria de la Raza, in San Francisco. He's taught acting at San Jose State University's department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre. In June 2013, he completed an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. He is the producing artistic director of Borderlands Theater. .


Donation Based Event ($10 Suggested Donation.) No One Turned Away for Lack of Funds - Pay What You Can!

At sundown (6pm) OCTOBER 14th at Armory Park Bandshell- 220 S. 5th Ave

At sundown (6pm) OCTOBER 15th at Oury Recreation Center- 600 W. St. Mary's Rd



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