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Teatro Paraguas, located at 3221-B Richards Lane in Santa Fe, will present local playwright Robert Benjamin’s “Parted Waters,” beginning today and running through Feb. 27. There will be a total of 11 performances.
Three Hispanic men including the grandfather, son and grandson are the focus in the play.
The family owns a farm near Truchas, which has been in the family for generations.
Grandfather Reynaldo tends the farm and is mayordomo, or foreman of the local acequia, or a community operated waterway. His son, Javier has struggled to build a high-tech career and cares for his family in Albuquerque. Javier’s son, Miguel has two college degrees, a promising career as a hydrologist and is running for state office.
Besides diverging cultural values and lifestyles, the familial bond is challenged by the fact that Reynaldo and Javier are aware of the family’s Crypto-Jewish roots, while Miguel is not. Javier is determined to bury that part of the family’s past.
An unintended slur by Miguel during a political debate with his opponent Phyllis Goldstein, whose estranged daughter is Miguel’s campaign manager, nearly destroys the family but reveals the truth. Fran Martone directs and the cast includes Angelo Jaramillo, Tom Romero, Lisa Friedland and Argos MacCallum. Tom Martone is the set designer and Skip Rapoport is the lighting designer.
“Parted Waters” was first commissioned and produced by the Arizona Jewish Theater Company in Phoenix in 2008.
The play made its premiere in New Mexico in January 2009 at the Enchanted Rose Theater. Although the Teatro Paraguas staged a reading of the play in September 2009, it is the first time the theater has done a full production of “Parted Waters.”
Benjamin said he is excited to have this particular theater perform his play. “It’s a terrific cast and director and it’s a fairly unique space to perform in,” he said. “It’s a small space. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will work on a smaller stage.”
Benjamin added that the director is taking a different route in his interpretation of the play than what has previously been brought to the stage.
“The Santa Fe director is exploring the connection between how people identify and consequent violence that may come from identification,” he said.
“I’m anxious to see how the audience responds to that interpretation,” Benjamin said. Teatro Paraguas’ production will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There will be a matinee at 2 p.m. Feb. 21.
The production will also be presented at the Brian Fant Theater at Capital High School at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25-27.
Capital High School is located at 4851 Paseo del Sol.
Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, and $12 for seniors and students. Sunday matinees are “pay-what-you-wish.”
Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. Call 424-1601 for more information and reservations, or visit www.teatroparaguas.org.
Teatro Paraguas, founded in 2004 by an international group of artists and actors, is Northern New Mexico’s only bilingual theater company. The theater has staged 19 productions, including 11 original works and two world premieres.