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Marfa Live Arts stages Cuidad Juarez native Georgina Escobar’s BEACONS Wednesday

April 13th, 2017 under Arts
Georgina Escobar

Georgina Escobar

MARFA – On Wednesday, April 19, Marfa Live Arts presents a staged reading of Georgina Escobar’s new play BEACONS at the Crowley Theater at 7pm.

The free production will be performed by New York actor and puppeteer Mindy Leanse, playwright Georgina Escobar, and Marfa actors Crystal Catano, RaeAnna Hample with other local actors.

Escobar explains the message and inspiration behind BEACONS. “As most of my plays, this one started with a “what if a fascist government decided to imprison women by making them prisoners of certain neighborhoods, what if the plan was to turn them against one another—what if they were like gangs as we saw in The Warriors and a clan of them gets chased down in Manhattan, and what if the clan that is being chased has a secret (special powers maybe? Not super hero, but a magical connection to nature?)

“I know it’s a lot of questions to ask at once, and that’s usually how my plays start. That’s the way I create worlds.”

She continues, “I am interested in challenging many logical thinking paradigms at once, and bombarding the senses with philosophical questions about who we are as humans and where we are headed as humanity and who we would like to become.

“I am a fan of graphic novels for that reason, and of sci-fi, and of fantasy and so these genres show up in my work for the stage because they serve a very important function…if we didn’t dare think differently about what we see in our art, how can we expect to think differently about the rights and wrongs we commit as humanity?

“I think the messages in BEACONS will ring true to young audiences, while they may confound older ones. It seems to happen often with my work and I think it proves that the older we get, the more set we are on our thinking, and anything that challenges it is usually disregarded as “different than me.” If we want to become a culture of generosity, of “we together” and not “us and them” we need to open our minds to these messages and types of art making.”

When asked what the audience can expect, Escobar replied, “In BEACONS, audience members will see the similarities and the echoes of the 1970s cult classic The Warriors except this one is set in a dystopian Manhattan after it gets converted into debtor’s prison for women. It is a play that challenges the patriarchy by showing us an alternative future, and how women (these women) chose to use their talents to unite.”

Escobar’s family is a founding family of Ciudad Juarez and they have been members of the El Paso Juarez community since the 1800s. She currently resides in New York City. And says of her trip to Marfa, “The whole area of northern Mexico and West Texas (and at one point, one in the same) is very close and dear to me. I’m excited because I’ve never been to Marfa even though I went to UTEP and was always so close. I am also very grateful to Marfa Live Arts for being so open and supportive to new work and supporting new work and new playwrights.”

While in Marfa, Escobar will also be Marfa Live Arts’ playwright in residence and teaching the 6th Annual Playwriting Workshop along with puppeteer Mindy Leanse at Marfa High School. When asked what she’s looking forward to in working with the students, Escobar replied, “I’m excited about all the possibilities of what we can create together. I think at that age we are more predisposed to let go of expectation and just write from the gut, so I really look forward to spending time getting to know the MHS students and seeing how we can develop gut instincts to dramatic writing. Also, super excited about the play-making aspect of playwriting. We are all going to become little alchemists in a lab of words and see what we can come up with!”

On April 18, listen to Marfa Public Radio for a West Texas Talk interview with playwright Georgina Escoba and actor/puppeteer Mindy Leanse. They will discuss both BEACONS and the Marfa High School playwriting workshop. Tune in live at 6:30pm (CST) at 93.5FM or stream online.

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