El Teatro Milagro “El Payaso”

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Saturday, May 6th 2017 at 7PM
Astor Elementary School Gymnasium, 3550 Franklin Ave

The Lower Columbia Hispanic Council invites you to their fourth annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta & Festival. This year we have the honor of bringing Teatro Milagro to our event who are performing a bilingual play “El Payaso”, written by Emilio Rodriguez and directed by Georgina Escobar. This will be a family event and entertainment presented for all-ages. Also performing a local folkloric dance group composed of school age children and adults.

Although many people mistake Cinco de Mayo as being Mexico’s Independence Day, the holiday is actually a celebration of a victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Over the years, however, the holiday, which is arguably more popular in the US than in Mexico, has evolved into less of a commemoration of that victory and more into a day of cultural celebration. That is the spirit in which this event is planned and we invite everyone to come down and join in the festivities and enjoy the presentations and eat some delicious food!

Thank you to the Oregon Cultural Trust and Clatsop County Cultural Coalition for awarding us $2,000 to help bring Teatro Milagro to our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta & Festival. Thank you for your support!

Funding by:
OAC Arts Build Communities, Ford Family Foundation, Clatsop County Cultural Coalition, and Astoria School District

About the play

Amidst chaos, confusion and war, an American engineer worked to bring electricity to rural villages in Nicaragua. El Payaso invites the audience to learn the story of an incredible man and the extraordinary people with whom he unexpectedly connected. Our tale is told through the eyes of Elías, a Latino college student, traveling to Nicaragua thirty years later, to encounter the people who are still carrying on the work of the late Ben Linder. An engineer and a clown for a cause, Linder participated in rallies and health campaigns that brought vaccines to children. His memory lives on in the work of Clowns without Borders and various environmental groups that are collaborating to bring this story to life. With red noses and humor, the performers will share the value of “thinking globally, while acting locally.”

In 1987 Ben Linder was killed by Contras in Nicaragua, during a war that was fueled by the Regan administration of the United States. For the 30th anniversary of Ben’s passing, this play will share with a new generation, an inspirational story of one idealist who saw the potential of art and science to help save the world, one small village at a time.

El Payaso community partners include: Clowns without BordersVerde, the Ben Linder Scholarship Fund, the Intertwine Alliance, and Friends of Trees. Performances will be paired with environmental workshops and residencies, using Milagro’s UNIDAD curriculum to share with a new generation the awareness and importance of sustainability. The performers are also the teaching artists, who will bring the play and workshops to schools across the country. Ajai Terrazas Tripathi leads the group, in his 7th season with Milagro and is joined by Marlon Jiménez Oviedo from Costa Rica, Emile Dultra from Brazil and Danielle Pecoff from Idaho.

Today, environmental issues affect all Americans, and Latinos, the largest minority population, must be invited to the table to participate so that their voices can be heard and their participation embraced. For more information about El Payaso and UNIDAD, contact Artistic Director, Dañel Malan at 503-236-7253 *125 or by email at malan@milagro.org.