On Friday, December 1st, Raíces Theatre Company will open the latest version of its Desde el Puente one-act festival. The production, which will run for three weekends until it closes on Sunday, December 17th, will include a series of 11 one-act plays which focus on seasonal Christmas themes as celebrated and experienced by those from Hispanic cultures. “La Navidades are a very important time in our culture and they are filled with rich traditions,” said Raíces’ Artistic Director Victoria Pérez. “I really wanted to create work that would allow our audience to peer into our experiences as Latinos during the holidays.
This will be the second version of Desde el Puente which is entirely written, directed and performed by members of the Raíces ensemble and it includes a mix of serious and comic one-act plays. The new plays include:
- La Parranda 101, by Maria Pérez-Gómez and Victoria Pérez. A pageant of characters offer a beginner’s guide to Puerto Rican parranda celebrations.
- Fatherless, by Rolando Martin Gómez. An estranged father attempts to reconnect with his son and family on the Christmas holiday.
- A Brief Three Minutes, by Anthony Alcocer. A family reunites for a short visit at the U.S.-Mexican border on Christmas.
- El Espiritu Inquebrantable, by Alejandro Gómez. A Puerto Rican family struggles to find hope on an island devastated by natural disaster.
- Llegó la Navidad, by Maria Pérez-Gómez. A grieving daughter receives a psychic visit from her father just before a parranda.
- Take It Or Leave It, by Lissette DeJesus. A young couple is confronted by issues of cultural identity during a Christmas Eve family dinner.
- La Vida Sigue, by Alexia Rose Guzmán. A young girl receives a spiritual visit from her grandparents on the eve of her birthday.
- Innocence, by Marta Aracelis. Two young girls prepare for Christmas celebrations as they are confronted by adult family issues.
- Pa Chi Cha, by Victoria Pérez. A young woman confronts her father about problems with alcoholism on the Christmas holiday.
- Resolution, by Marta Aracelis. Two best friends each decide whether this New Year’s Eve will mark a change in their lives.
- El Cuarto Rey Mago, by Dewel Pérez. A father tells his daughter a bedtime story about the fourth Wise Man, a Puerto Rican king.
“At Raíces, we believe that an ensemble is an inclusive and collaborative group of diverse and dedicated artists— with one purpose and collective ownership of the work,” Victoria Pérez said. “With Desde el Puente, we do just that. We set out to develop the talents of the ensemble, making them well-rounded theatre artists. Desde el Puente is the vehicle we use to achieve this every year.”
Performers for this edition of Desde el Puente include Raíces ensemble members Rolando Martin Gómez, Maria Pérez-Gómez, Mercedes Pérez, Marta Aracelis, Melinda Capeles-Rowe, Lissette DeJesus and Alexia Rose Guzmán; the cast will also be joined by actors Josue Rosario-Caliz, Victor Morales and Chris Espinal. Featured in the cast are Amara Gómez, Carlos Rafael Maggiolo, and Alejandro Pérez. Performances will be held at the Manny Fried Playhouse, third floor at 255 Great Arrow Ave., 14207. Friday and Saturday performances will take place at 8 PM and Sunday performances are at 6 PM, with two Pay-What-You Can performances on Thursdays December 7th & 14th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 general admission or $15 for students/seniors and can be reserved by calling 716-381-9333 or by visiting raicestheatrecompany.com.
About Raíces Theatre Company
Raíces Theatre Company is based in Buffalo, NY, and operates as Western New York’s premier Latinx bilingual theater company. Raíces – which means “roots” in Spanish – was chosen as the company’s name as it perfectly reflects the belief that, in order to truly understand who we are as Latinx people, we must celebrate the present while always looking at who we have been in the past in order to have a clear vision for the future. Its mission is to provide original theatrical entertainment for the WNY region which is specifically geared towards nearly 30,000 Hispanic people living in Buffalo and 10,000 more living across Erie County. The company is dedicated to develop, nourish, and produce modern and original works dealing with the Latinx experience in order to preserve our “raíces.” Raíces has also earned great recognition from the Buffalo theater community, having won one Artie Award and receiving five Artie Award nominations during its existence. It has also partnered successfully with many local theater companies including MusicalFare, Subversive Theatre Collective and Road Less Traveled Productions.