Last Thursday night at Xico, Inc., playwright Milta Ortiz shared her experiences and process on writing the script for Más. She wasn’t sure if anyone would want to do this play because it’s very Chicano but she knew it needed to be done. It addresses our collective consciousness and redemptive remembrances.
She had come out to Arizona when legislation was in the process of passing SB 1070. When she heard of the ban on Mexican American Studies in Tucson, she knew there was a story she needed to document. She listened to the words and experiences of those who fought to keep MAS in the Tucson Unified School District.
“This pattern revealed itself that became a script,” Ortiz said. Rather than writing a script from scratch, she pieced things together. Much of the play is verbatum, derived from transcripts of the actions, court hearings and over 40 interviews she conducted in Tucson.
“Without their words and stories, there would be no play,” said Ortiz. One thing that helped her shape the script was looking into the intersections of gender, race and the relationships of those in the movement. And as an outsider from Tucson, she knew she could be objective and share a part of the story that wasn’t being talked about in the news.
Dance: For Ortiz, it was important to turn real life into theater. She didn’t want to have talking heads. She needed to add dynamic things, movement and visuals. She incorporates dance, masks by Zarco Guerrero as well as video of the actions that took place in Tucson in 2012.
The play takes place inside of a sweat lodge where things move in a collective unconscious. The characters speak their truth as a way to heal their trauma.
Special 7 pm showing: In addition to the play, the 7 o clock show at the Phoenix Center for the Arts will feature a special performance by Erika Moore.
Movement Speaks is a piece inspired by the passing of SB1070. “It brought me to tears, when I saw it at the Kerr Cultural Center last Spring!” said Carmen Guerrero. It uses no words, only movement, video and elements of voice to portray the disparities present in the communities affected by the law.
Más will be showing at 2pm and 7pm Saturday, September 23rd. It is the first time that Borderlands Theater is presented in the Valley, thanks to the partnership of ASU Performance in the Borderlands and the Cultural Coalition. It also highlights the collaboration between the 3 Latino arts organizations in our area: Xico, Inc, CALA Alliance and Cultural Coalition.
Sept 23 is the only show date in Phoenix and is a play you won’t want to miss! #LaCulturaCura