‘Our Lady Of Mariposas’ Opens In Santa Fe Sept. 3

Esperanza (Maya Sanchez), left, and her neighbor Kate (Liza Frolkis) share a moment together in ‘Our Lady of Mariposas.’ Courtesy photo

THEATER News:

Teatro Paraguas launches its 12th season with a premiere production of Santa Fe playwright Alix Hudson’s play Our Lady of Mariposas, beginning Thursday, Sept.3.

The play, which builds a story of a family in southeastern New Mexico around the massive die-off of monarch butterflies in the winter of 2002, will be presented at Teatro Paraguas Studio through Sunday, Sept. 16.

Manuel (Jason Jaramillo), an immigrant from Mexico, is trying to raise his 7-year-old daughter Esperanza (Maya Sanchez) alone after his wife Estrella has inexplicably disappeared. The only clues to her whereabouts are cryptic postcards without return addresses posted from different cities.

The play unfolds as a memory play related by Esperanza as a grown woman (Rosario Roybal). The next-door neighbor in the run-down apartment complex, Kate (Liza Frolkis), tries to help the father and daughter as they wait and hope for Estrella’s return. The three also are waiting for the return migration from Mexico of the monarch butterflies. 

The cast is rounded out by Manuel’s work buddies, Dave (Tomás Rivera) and Eulogio (Rick Vargas). Guitarist JoJo Sena de Tarnoff performs original music throughout the play. The cast have all appeared in previous Teatro Paraguas productions.

Our Lady of Mariposas, directed by Argos MacCallum, is the latest offering by TP of plays by New Mexico playwrights. Other New Mexico playwrights include Angelo Jaramillo, Rosario Roybal, Linda Pedro de Martinez, Joey Chavez, Patricia Crespin and Mary Mier.

Teatro Paraguas also will present Our Lady of Mariposas at the National Hispanic Cultural Center as part of the ongoing Siembra Latino Theatre Festival with four performances beginning Sept. 16. For more information on these performances please visit http://www.nationalhispaniccenter.org

Founded in 2004 by a group of international artists and actors, TP is dedicated to producing bilingual poetry and theatre, and contemporary Hispanic/Latino plays. Since then, TP has staged 48 productions, including 12 in its ¡Poesía Viva! poetry performance series, which honors international and local poets who wrote in Spanish.

Alix Hudson is a teacher, playwright, and all-around theatre person. She graduated from Colorado College with a BA in play writing/drama in 2011, where she participated in close to 40 productions.

She wrote her first draft of Our Lady of Mariposas in early summer 2011, when her life-long love of Monarchs and milkweed blended with an unshakeable image of a little girl, who could not stop asking where her mother was. Learning more both about the horrors in Grants and the vernacular richness of New Mexico has led to the current version of this little play.

Hudson has done a variety of theatre onstage and backstage in northern New Mexico. Most recently, she has had acted in TP’s Word Over All: Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda, had one acts featured in Fusion’s The Second 7 and The Taos Gorilla Theater Festival, and directed a play, Sunrise at Otowi Bridge, as part of Los Alamos ScienceFest.

She is currently working on a new play and her one act Incarnadine will be performed at the Los Alamos Little Theater in November as part of their 8×10 short play festival. She will also be directing Quiara Alegría Hudes’ brilliant piece, Yemayá‘s Belly, at Teatro Paraguas in October. She teaches bilingual, special education preschool in Santa Fe.

Director Argos MacCallum is a co-founder and current Executive Director of Teatro Paraguas. He has worked with various New Mexico theater companies since 1970, including Teatro Nuevo Mexico, Wise Fool New Mexico, and the Santa Fe Playhouse.  His directorial credits include Life is a Dream, Fuenteovejuna, September Shoes, Camino Real, Fortunato, and El Delantal Blanco. He also is a stage and film actor, with appearances in Breaking Bad, Appaloosa, Night Shift, and other films.

Performances at Teatro Paraguas run Thursday, Sept. 3 through Sunday, Sept.13, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $17 general admission and $12 limited income. Reservations may be made by calling 505.424.1601 or at teatroparaguas@gmail.com. Teatro Paraguas is at 3205 Calle Marie in Santa Fe.

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