Thu.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m.
Originally created by Kinan and Lakin Valdez for El Teatro Campesino. Directed by Marc David Pinate. Set in the intimate space of the Black Box Theatre, this captivating and colorful production recreates one of the ancient Mayan creation legends using large-scale puppetry, music, ritual dance and pageantry.
The Mayan hero twins are summoned by the creators of the world to deal with the false and corrupt Seven Macaw, who holds dominion over the Earth. Through stealth and trickery, the shape-shifter twins are able to outsmart the corrupt ruler with their powerful artistry. The story is symbolic and politically relevant for today’s culture.
“Popul Vuh" translates into Council Book. The high priests of the classic Maya would be comparable to scholars, scientists and astronomers in today's world. They took note of celestial and other natural patterns over hundreds of years and created a variety of calendars and other “maps” of basic natural and human systems. These understandings of how the world and human civilizations worked were encoded into symbolic stories that became the mythology of the “Popul Vuh.” Mayan sages would consult the Council Book in times of crisis or before any major decisions were made. The Mayan concept of time as cyclical rather than linear allowed them to predict how an event would likely turn out. Therefore it is no surprise that the story of Seven Macaw, with its allusions to climate change, empty leadership and a populace pitted against itself should ring so familiar to us today.
Director Pinate remarks, “Interpreted through El Teatro Campesino's popular theatre form of physicality and spectacle, the play succeeds in captivating audiences of all ages and backgrounds while still relaying a deep thematic message—a vital meditation on the need to excise the false gods which plague us today. I speak metaphorically of ideologies of nationalism, xenophobia, racism, denial of climate change and the devastation of Mother Earth.”
The Center for the Arts is located on the , two miles west of I-10 on St. Mary's Road. (St. Mary's turns into Anklam Road.) Parking is free.
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