NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE
Written in English by Caridad Svich
MARCH 21 to APRIL 13, 2013
Single-mom Roly lives in a dusty Texas border town that everyone longs to escape. She’s never seen anything like Guapa, a natural-born athlete with a fiery ambition to become an international soccer star. When Guapa joins Roly’s family, everyone’s life is turned upside down. With only one shot to reach the big leagues from the barrio, how can Guapa convince the non-believers to let go of their doubts, spread their wings and fly? This inspiring story will have you cheering in the aisles!
REVIEWS & COMMENTS
Miracle Theatre Group review: 'Guapa' scores with engaging drama about ethnic identity, family bonds and the beautiful game
By Marty Hughley, The Oregonian
on March 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM, updated March 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM
|She believes she can fly: Sofia May-Cuxim (from left), Crystal Ann Muñoz, Michelle Escobar and Pablo Saldaña in Miracle Theatre's production of "Guapa."Russell J. Young
Despite her name, the girl called Guapa doesn’t feel beautiful. She lives in a dirty Texas border town, bagging groceries, living with distant relatives and absorbing the stings of racial and economic marginalization.
But she loves the beautiful game, and when she dominates yet another local street soccer match, she dreams of soaring above her humble circumstances, envisioning a girl “made of dirt, feathers and futbol.”
A drama by Caridad Svich, “Guapa” -- which opened Friday night in a warm, engaging production by Miracle Theatre Group -- has a narrative premise out of a TV movie of the week: a small-town talent burns to get to the big city for a long-shot competition, in this case, a street football tournament in Dallas.
You’ll hardly notice those tired bones, though, for all the strong, sometimes graceful writing they carry. Blending kitchen-table discussions of history, ethnic identity and underclass economic realities with references to supernatural voices (Guapa dreams of saints partying with soccer stars), Svich has written something like a Latino version of an August Wilson play, in which salvation comes from embracing your origins and being seen as someone of worth.
Along the way to a satisfying conclusion, Svich does make a few things too confusing, such as the constellation of family relationships, and the roots of Guapa’s desperation and anger. But director Olga Sanchez calibrates the mix of tension and humor beautifully, especially in the bright, nuanced performances by Sofia May-Cuxim as long-suffering head of the mixed household, and Crystal Ann Munoz as her studious daughter.
Miracle Theatre Group helps give a 'rolling world premiere' to the Caridad Svich play 'Guapa'
By Marty Hughley, The Oregonian
on March 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated March 21, 2013 at 6:08 AM
Michelle Escobar takes the title role in the Miracle Theatre Group production of "Guapa," a National New Play Network World Premiere by Caridad Svich.Russell J. Young
Portland's Miracle Theatre Group will be the third company to give the Caridad Svich play "Guapa" its world premiere.
In theater, a world "premiere" confers a certain cachet on the producing company; but the problem is that once that distinction's been taken, new plays tend to languish. So the National New Play Network created a program that helps fund three or more productions of the same play within a 12-month period, what it calls a "rolling world premiere." The idea is that with the widespread exposure, and the sharpening effect of three distinct creative teams, a play stands a better chance at a continued life.
And "Guapa" sounds like the sort of story that could have legs -- the tale of a gifted athlete longing to leap from a desolate Texas border town to stardom. Olga Sanchez directs a cast featuring Michelle Escobar (pictured) in the title role.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Caridad Svich is a US Latina playwright, translator, lyricist and editor whose works have been presented across the US and abroad at diverse venues, including the Denver Center, Mixed Blood Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertorio Espanol, 59East59, McCarren Park Pool, 7 Stages, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Teatro Mori (Santiago, Chile), ARTheater (Cologne), and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK. She received the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the novel by Isabel Allende, and has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama three times, including in 2010 for Instructions for Breathing. Her key works include 12 Ophelias, Alchemy of Desire/Dead Man's Blues, Any Place But Here, Iphigenia...A Rave Fable, Fugitive Pieces, In the Time of the Butterflies (based on Julia Alvarez’s novel), Magnificent Waste, and the multimedia collaboration The Booth Variations. An alumna of New Dramatists, she holds an MFA in Theatre-Playwriting from UCSD, and has taught creative writing and playwriting at Bard College, Barnard College, Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Yale School of Drama. She was awarded the 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement.
March 21 to April 13, 2012