November 30, 2012
Rose Cano & eSe Teatro take on Oedipus
: eSe Teatro.
Rose Cano [TH ’86] has formed a new theater collective, eSe Teatro, to empower Latino artists; their first full-scale production: Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus, El Rey.
Rose Cano, a native of Peru who graduated in theater from Cornish in 1986, has always worked tirelessly to present the Latino voice on Seattle stages. Her activism in the community has blossomed once more with the rise of a new theater company dedicated to that end, eSe Teatro. In a preview piece by Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson, Cano says that the idea behind the company “is to have an artistic voice, a decision-making say, in what we talk about in our communities.” eSe Teatro has presented a number of readings this past year, but now they are taking a big step forward with a fully staged production of Luis Alfaro’s modern take on the Sophocles classic, Oedipus El Rey, playing December 7-16 at ACT.
In Alfaro’s Oedipus, El Rey, audiences are reacquainted with the iconic tragedy through the lens of Chicano culture and ancient Mexican ritual. Set within the California prison system, the largest incarcerated population in the world, Oedipus, El Rey shows us gang hierarchy as it collides with fate. The play examines free will and whether the “curse"of violence plaguing generations can be appeased without an ultimate sacrifice to the gods. Prophecies of the barrio rule the lives of its people, crushing families with the iron hand of “el destino”(destiny). Has the path already been determined? How much is really up to us?
Oedipus, El Rey appears under the direction of NYC-based director Gisela Cardenas. The work’s author, Luis Alfaro, is one of the most prolific and widely-produced Latino-American playwrights in the U.S., continues to push the envelope exploring controversial social issues through his writing. His Chicano-focused adaptations of Greek classics (Electricidad, based on Euripides’ Electra) have garnered numerous awards and recognitions, including the 1997 MacArthur “Genius Award,” Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays (Electricidad and Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) and a nomination fromthe LA Drama Circle Critics award for Oedipus El Rey. He is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California.
eSe Teatro is a collective of professionally trained theatre artists residing in the greater Seattle area. eSe Teatro is designed to give Latino theatre artists a space for self-expression, be it a physical space, a space for peer evaluation and support, a space for creativity and development, a space for dialogue with Latino communities or simply a space to have our work honored and validated.
Oedipus, El Rey is presented by eSe Teatro with ACT’s Central Heating Lab at ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street, in downtown Seattle. It runs December 7-16 with previews on December 5 and 6, with shows at 7:30pm, 2pm Sunday Matinees. More Information.
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