Bless Me, Ultima

LTGI Brings Magical Realism to Stage with Anaya’s “Bless Me, Ultima” 

Open Call Auditions Friday Dec 12 and Saturday Dec 13 at Laredo Community College  

Laredo Theater Guild International (LTGI), in cooperation with Laredo Community College will continue their 6th season with Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya’s own dramatization of his classic 1972 novel. An open call audition for this production will be held this Friday, December 12 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, December 13 at 3:00 PM at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center at Laredo Community College. 

Directed by Vernon Carroll and produced by John Maxstadt, Bless Me, Ultima is the story of Antonio Márez y Luna’s mystical coming of age under the guidance and protection of the curandera, Ultima.  The novel is Anaya’s best-known work, critically acclaimed and widely read in and out of the classroom.  It won the Premio Quinto Sol award in 2008 and was one of twelve classic American novels selected for The Big Read.  Anaya’s stage adaptation blends magical realism with the Chicano culture of rural New Mexico in the 1940s.  

The cast of approximately thirty men and women ranges from preteen to advanced age.  The curandera, Ultima, is described as a “handsome wrinkled octogenarian.”  Tony Márez appears both as a boy of about twelve and a man in his thirties (who is mostly the narrator).  There are several important principal roles for preteen boys and girls playing Tony’s classmates, as well as roles for adult men and women of varying ages and a few important dancing roles (Ultima’s Owl, Death, and three witch sisters).  The play is about family, faith, mysticism, and death, and combines comedy and tragedy with realistic drama.  There is an essential artistic balance between magical realism and the gritty truth of Chicano life in a small New Mexico town of the 1940s.

LTGI’s Bless Me, Ultima will run from February 27 to March 1, 2015, at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center Theater at Laredo Community College, with additional daytime performances slated for participating high schools as part of LTGI’s Class on Stage series.  The LTGI Class on Stage series presents annual productions relevant to the high school English Language Arts curriculum to improve student comprehension, retention, and test results.

Previous LTGI Class on Stage series offerings have been the Shakespeare classics The Tragedy of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.  Bless Me, Ultima is a key literary offering for high school students, with arrangements already being planned with the local school districts to coordinate their participation.

For more information call LTGI at (956) 319-8610, email LTGI at laredotheaterguild@gmail.com, or visit LTGI on the web at www.laredotheaterguild.com

 

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