While doing an informal survey of the office, we were brought back to an important moment in our own history. Originally, taking a cue from American Night, the show currently playing at Milagro, we were going to talk about how typically few people truly understand what the holiday meant and how it went from hometown pride (not even in Puebla) to corporate bonanza, but instead we encountered a much more personal reminiscence with great import.
Our outgoing (but not truly departing!) Artistic Director, Olga Sanchez, reminded us of a truly happy event to remember, and yes, to raise a toast to:
I first heard of Cinco de mayo when I was traveling in Mexico, visiting Mexico City and saw a Calle or Avenida cinco de mayo (there are a number of streets in el DF that are named after famous dates ~ something I’d never seen in the States.)
Because there were a number of these “date” named streets, I figured they were historical events, but I didn’t look into it much until I moved to Seattle and began working with Los Porteños writers group. We often did literary readings on Día de muertos, Valentine’s Day, and Cinco de mayo! One year, I produced an event called “Una noche de liberación”, for Cinco de mayo, an evening of very short one-act plays by the writers who wanted to explore dramatic structure and dialogue.
We worked with a great group of actors from Seattle Teatro Latino, and were hosted by the Empty Space Theatre with guidance from dramaturge Lenore Bensinger. We had a great weekend of performances at the Empty Space, and one of the writers, John Baca-Saavedra, recommended we bring it to Milagro on tour! I traveled to Portland, John introduced me to José, and José generously invited the whole show to Portland. 20 actors, directors, writers descended on Portland, and José, Dañel, board members and friends hosted us at their homes! It was a terrific introduction to the open spirit and hospitality of Milagro.
So it wasn’t the first time, but that show, Una noche de liberación, was a celebration of Cinco de mayo…
However you chose to spend the day, we hope you will join us for American Night and our upcoming 32nd season, and take part of the MIlagro story with Olga and the rest of us.