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"La Pastorela" Performed in mid December 2005
CULTURAL COALITION, INC. AND THE LATINO INSTITUTE PRESENTED: La Pastorela,
A Latino Christmas Story!!!
Directed by Marcos Najera & adapted by Zarco Guerrero was staged with no intermissions at Phoenix Arts Center (3rd Street and Moreland) December 18th through December 22nd, at 7:00 PM and a 2:00 matinee on Sunday December 18th.
Najera is a seasoned actor, playwright and journalist from Phoenix. His review of the production is commentary that gives the cast the highest compliment, "This is community theater at its finest involving intergenerational actors and bilingually spoken".
Participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition were out in force to support this holiday event. Grandchildren, elders, adults, teens and little people populated the audience. The costuming and mastery of Zarco's masks worn by "Diablo and his associates" brought magic to the stage.
The play opens with an interlude of music: holiday songs song by Happy Frejo of the Pawnee and SEminole Nations of Oklahoma and Bruno Cisneros with accompaniment by Tizoc Guerrero. This music in both English and Spanish engages the audience in familiar songs to "Sing Along". The production dialogue weaves statements that are both poignant and when one listens carefully, with political commentary. Children will be enchanted by the visual imagery and energy including the choreographed moves instructed by Tizoc who utilizes his skills of "CAPOERIRA", Brazilian Marshall arts/dance movement. Adults will be engaged thoughtfully by the characters' dialogue and the vibrancy of the costumes and masks.
Zarco Guerrero, an Arizona native, has been a force in Arizona since the early 1970's, as a multimedia and community artist and arts advocate. One of the teen members of the audience has been participating in mask making and theater workshops with Zarco since he was 8 years old and a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. This same 16 year old youth was also involved when Zarco worked with "Free Arts for Arizona Youth" in theater about 3 years ago. And the high school student commented that Zarco had just appeared at Tempe High School a few days earlier to perform his transformative magic in a one man play for the Spanish Club. Zarco is everywhere in our communities.
This kind of community production keeps alive the "SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY ARTS".
WE HOPE MANY OF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SUPPORT THIS PRODUCTION. It will be back again next year!!!!
Guerrero Play," La Pastorela" Review by Sharon Stetter
"What is it that makes some people so beautiful? Every time I have the opportunity to be entertained by the Guerrero family I come away reflecting their beauty in my smile.
I met Zarco Guerrero nearly two decades ago, and was instantly impressed by his enthusiasm for life, which was bolstered by his passion for community, and ultimately expressed through his art in which he is multi-dimensional. Zarco is a gifted sculptor, painter, musician, actor,.. he is mixed-media in flesh and blood. As is most often the case, behind every great man there is a woman. Carmen and Zarco are examples of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Through them our community has been gifted not only by their talents and dedication to us, but in the tradition that they have passed on to another generation of Guerreros. Their children are already enriching our experience of life, each one possessing and sharing of boundless creativity.
The latest gift the Guererro family offers our community is the poignantly funny and meaningful adaptation of the story of Jesus’ birth. Zarco’s ,“La Pastorela,” is community theater at its finest. Zarco manages to make us all bi-lingual in his very witty dialogue, bridging over our own boundaries and limitations, to a place where we all reside harmoniously. This “common ground” accomplishment is readily achieved through art, and is beautifully demonstrated through this play.
I sat in the audience during Sunday’s matinee performance and finally found the meaning of the season this year. The past weeks have been overwhelmed by bearing witness to the parting of a very dear friend of mine and the community’s, the life of Gary Avey will be sorely missed. This is his favorite season and I know as a fan of the theater, the arts, indigenous people and culture, and Zarco Guererro, that Gary would have been sitting with us if he could. My heart was truly touched in the theater at Moreland and 3rd St. where, in the front row, sat a beautifully aged 90+ year old man, and in his smile was reflected the beauty of an entire community."