In a war torn Latin American village, people are censored for speaking their minds. Young Miguel – also known as Bocón or big mouth – won’t be silenced. When his parents are taken away for voicing their opinions, Miguel’s voice flies away. He then begins an enchanted journey to find his voice and perhaps a new home.
Audiences can follow Miguel’s adventure in Lisa Loomer’s “Bocón.” The play is part of the University of Houston’s Theatre for Young Audiences and will be performed April 10 and 11 at Talente Bilingüe (333 South Jensen Dr.). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at 713-222-1213.
Performance times are as follows:
- 7:30 p.m., April 10
- 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m., April 11
Directed by UH visiting artist Michelle Lopez-Rios, “Bocón” features music and choreography and stars the talented students from UH’s School of Theatre & Dance. The play, said Rios, is presented in “Spanglish” – mostly English with some Spanish.
Both young audiences and adults will recognize some of the mythical characters – including La Llorona or the Weeping Woman – that Miguel encounters. Lopez-Rios said that “Bocón” places these classic characters into a contemporary context.
“Folk tales play an important part of storytelling in any culture,” Lopez-Rios said. “They explain things and are familiar to us. The playwright is quite brilliant at using characters from classic fables. The trickster Duende is portrayed as a ‘coyote,’ a person that is paid to help people cross the border. This puts very real and scary events in a magical world.”
Cast members include Alex Zuniga, Ruben Munoz, Josh Eguia, David Oliverez, Sara Ornelas, Crystal Grimaldo, Laura Moreno and Valentina Olarte. Student stage managers are Stephanie Britton and Amanda Reimer.
Guest artist Lopez-Rios is head of the acting program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. She is an alumna of the UH School of Theatre & Dance and has contributed her talents as a voice and text coach to the Houston Shakespeare Festival. For more details on Lopez-Rios, visit her website.
The University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance produces pre-professional plays, dance concerts, studio productions, and school shows through the Theatre for Young Audiences program. Performances are delivered in the Wortham Theatre and the Quintero Theatre on the main campus. The school offers bachelor’s and master's degrees in theater and teacher certifications in dance and theatre. Its graduate program consists of a Master of Arts in theatre and Master of Fine Arts in theatre with specializations in acting, technical production and design. Alumni include actors Jim Parsons, Dennis Quaid, Brett Cullen and Robert Wuhl. Faculty includes Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow, Tony-nominated designer Kevin Rigdon and award-winning playwright and screenwriter Theresa Rebeck. Among the greats who have taught at the school are Edward Albee, Lanford Wilson, Mark Medoff, Sir Peter Hall, Jose Quintero, Patsy Swayze and Cecil Pickett. In 2012 and 2013, the school was named “Best College Theater” in the Houston Press Theater Awards. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.