ALBUQUERQUE ― Teatro Paraguas partners with the National Hispanic Cultural Center as the NHCC’s 2018-2019 theatre season opens with the world premiere of Atacama, a play by Augusto Federico Amador.
The show opens Friday, Sept. 28, running for two weekends in the Wells Fargo Auditorium with performances 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday.
Tickets are $20 with a $3 discount for students, and NHCC members, and are available from the NHCC Box Office, at 505.724.4771, or at www.nhccnm.org.
Atacama is a two-person play about a man and a woman who meet in the northern Chilean desert while searching for bone fragments of loved ones disappeared by the Pinochet regime, and find a deep and unsettling connection that shakes their souls. While it has had several staged readings around the country, its opening at Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe earlier this month and subsequent run at the NHCC are the world premiere of the full production.
Performances have been scheduled to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the U.S.-backed coup d’etat in which the Chilean army, under General Pinochet, overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende Sept. 11, 1973.
Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Augusto Federico Amador was recently awarded the prestigious Lincoln City Fellowship for playwriting from Speranza Foundation. Atacama placed on 50 Playwrights Project’s 2017 list of best un-produced Latino plays, and was a runner-up for the 2017 National Latino Playwriting Award from the Arizona Theater Company and a finalist in the Austin Latinx New Play Festival. It has been presented as a staged reading by the Next Iteration Theater Company, the Austin Latinx New Play Festival, Skylight Theater, Theatre 80 St. Mark’s, and the UCLA Department of Theater. The play is also one of nine finalists in the 2018 BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition.
Atacama marks Juliet Marie Salazar’s directorial debut at Teatro Paraguas. She has performed in several Teatro Paraguas productions, and her previous directorial experience includes John Guare’s Cop-Out, Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief, and Moisés Kaufman’s The Laramie Project. For Salazar, the script of Atacama provides an opportunity to explore meaning within our current social and political circumstances through listening to voices from the past.
Bernadette Peña and James R. Chávez portray the two characters in the play, Ignacia and Diego. The project was made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodger’s Tax, and the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.