Friday, August 22, 2014

A Game of Chance and the Spirit of Hope: An Overview of "The Long Road Today"

Santa Ana in Toy Theatre

While the cast and crew have been working on The Long Road Today on a stage that covers thousands of square feet in Santa Ana’s Civic Center Plaza, three Santa Ana artists have created a stage that could fit inside a home entertainment center. This concept of a compact world of wonders—called Toy Theatre—originated in the 18th-century as mass-produced miniature tableaus of some of the most impressive theatre spaces in the world. Artists Adriana Xibachita, Chilo Te and Zuleica Zepeda are the creators of the Toy Theatre version of the City of Santa Ana, which you’ll see in all the artwork announcing The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy.
The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy by José Cruz González, a bilingual and site-specific play, brings lotería—a traditional Mexican game of chance, similar to bingo—to life.

The play’s prologue introduces La Muerte (The Death), El Diablito (The Little Devil), La Dama (The Lady) and El Valiente (The Brave One)—all iconic characters from the game’s playing cards—as play tour guides. They will take the audience through the play’s scenes of a story about a tragedy that occurs in the City of Santa Ana.

Andrés Guerrero, a young boy with no park to play in, entertains himself in the street. When his red ball rolls away, he chases after it—just as a car whips around the corner. The teenage driver, Salvador Recuerdo, is late to pick up a girl for a date and desperate to avoid getting stopped by a police barricade. The distracted Salvador strikes and kills Andrés.

Andrés is gone. Salvador is in jail. Will the Guerrero and Recuerdo families survive the fallout? And how does a community respond to tragedy?

To find out, audience members draw a lotería card that instructs them when and where their journey begins. With their guide, they’ll experience the play on a tailored four-part journey as they travel the courtyard of Santa Ana’s stunning Civic Center, stopping in different locations to witness different sides of the story.

The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy is a a powerful, funny, moving journey—and one unlike anything SCR audiences have experienced.

Director Armando Molina, composer Moisés Vázquez and the cast of 63 people—comprised of both professional actors and community members—bring González’s play to life with music, dance, puppetry and installation art. The Long Road Today is both an investigation and a celebration of the vibrant City of Santa Ana and uses fresh and ambitious modes of storytelling to illuminate the community’s experience.

The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy is part of South Coast Repertory’s Dialogue/Diálogos project, in partnership with Latino Health Access. Dialogue/Diálogos is funded by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

Reserve your free ticket for the play through the SCR Box Office by calling (714) 708-5555.

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