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Spirits of the Ordinary, An exploration of Latino and Jewish Identities

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  • Miracle Theatre Group
    Spirits of the Ordinary World Premiere of New Play Closes Miracle Season An exploration of Latino and Jewish Identities Preview Thursday, May 1 -- 7:30 pm -
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 9:27 AM
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      Spirits of the Ordinary

      World Premiere of New Play Closes Miracle Season
      An exploration of Latino and Jewish Identities

      Preview Thursday, May 1 -- 7:30 pm - $13
      Opening Friday, May 2 -- 8pm - $17
      Runs Thursday-Sunday till May 31
      Reservations:  Call 503-236-7253 or e-mail gretchen@...

      Portland OR - April 18, 2003—

      In what will be the final production of the 2002-2003 Mainstage Season, the Miracle Theatre Group proudly presents the world premiere of Spirits of the Ordinary, opening Friday, May 2nd on El Centro Milagro's MainStage Theatre.

      In the spring of 2002, the Miracle Theatre Group commissioned the Seattle-based author Kathleen Alcalá and director Olga Sanchez to adapt the Alcalá's novel Spirits of the Ordinary for the stage. For the past ten months, Olga Sanchez has been working with the novelist, dramaturge, designers, cast, and crew to bring the epic scope of the story to the boards.

      Set in and around the ethnically diverse town of Saltillo, Mexico during the late 1800s, Spirits of the Ordinary explores the convergence of cultures—Colonial Mexican, Indigenous, Southwest American and Jewish--along the Mexico/Texas border. Zacarías Caravajál has betrayed his Jewish origins in marrying a wealthy, Catholic woman. Yet, his parents are deeply devoted to their ancient Jewish faith and spend hours in study of the Kabbalah and prayerful meditation, hoping for their son’s redemption. Zacarías, however, is driven by the desire for gold, and he squanders his wife’s fortune in his maniacal quests for it. Zacarías’s life changes forever, though, when he encounters Lagunero Indians on the path to La Esmeralda, a mystical gold mine that haunts his dreams. Suddenly, Zacarías becomes the center of an ever-growing crossroads of violence and spiritual enlightenment that draws in every citizen of Saltillo, the Mexican Army, the Indian mine-workers on strike, and even God almighty.

      Under the direction of Olga Sanchez (director of Miracle’s ’99 production of Blood Wedding), Spirits of the Ordinary brings together a dynamic and talented cast featuring Actors’ Equity Association actors Ted deChatelet and Michael Berkson as Zacarías and Julio respectively, Deanna Wells as Estela, Fayra Teeters as Mariana, Jennifer Hartman as Magdalena, Kerry Montgomery as Horacio, Thomas Nabhan as Dr. Carranza, V. Spencer Page as Colonel Armadio, and Ga Lo Vann as Matachin.

      A preview will be held on Thursday, May 1 at 7:30pm, tickets are $13. Opening night will be on Friday, May 2 at 8pm, tickets are $17. Spirits of the Ordinary will continue through May 31, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets for Thursday performances are $15; Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances with post-show Talkbacks are $17. All performances will be held at El Centro Milagro's MainStage Theatre, 525 SE Stark, Portland, OR. For reservations, group sales, and information, please call 503-236-7253.

      Spirits of the Ordinary

      is part of a greater project, Unveiled Spirits: The Shared Heritage of Latino Jews, a ground-breaking Latino-Jewish arts and lectures series presented by the Miracle Theatre Group in collaboration with the Mittleman Jewish Community Center; PSU departments of Chicano/Latino Studies, Jewish Studies, and Theatre Arts; the University of Portland’s School of English and Foreign Languages; the American Jewish Committee; and El Hispanic News. For more information on Unveiled Spirits, contact the Miracle at 503-236-7253, or check out our website at www.milagro.org.

      Photo by Alan Mevis

      Funding for this project has been provided by the Meyer Memorial Trust, Allen Foundation for the Arts, El Hispanic News, Oregon Council for Humanities, Oregon Arts Commission – Arts Build Communities, Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and J F Smiekel Foundation.

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