Capture Spring in Corn Husk Flowers!


Seasons in the Pacific Northwest seem unpredictable some times, but you can make this spring last for years with corn husk flowers! This upcoming April 16 (6-8pm), the multi-talented artist and frequent Milagro collaborator Nelda Reyes will conduct a workshop teaching you this expressive tradition. Read on to learn about the handicraft, and make sure to RSVP to reserve your spot for the class!



The central role that maize has played in feeding the Americas has also made everything about it ever-present in the culture: religious calendars and traditions were built around the production of corn, including giving rise to different gods representing its maturation cycle, such as the Nahua deities Cinteotl (young corn), Xilonen (ear of corn) and Chicomecoatl (goddess of the corn harvest). As such an important element of native cultures, almost every part of the plant has found a use, and the husks have served myriad purposes for millennia, from making floor coverings to treating bladder and urinary tract infections. In Mexico, the totomochtle industry has even fueled much-needed economic recovery for indigenous groups in the past few decades.

Flowers made from shaped dry corn husks are popular decorations because the materials are inexpensive and easy to find, and they can be suitable to any setting, from a folksy casita to a Martha Stewart photo-essay. The rise of globalization as well as the emerging pride among immigrant communities in the US have popularized this folk art outside of Mexico. Likewise, the growth in acceptance of Mexican food the world over has also generated greater supplies of husks, allowing some agriculturally-based communities to supplement their finances through these handicrafts even as grain prices shrink.

Some Mexican regions with strong indigenous cultures not only continue to preserve the craft, but also celebrate it. During La Noche de los Rábanos (Radish Night), a traditional art event that has taken place for over a century in Oaxaca City, artists compete with their creations in two categories, separated by whether the corn husks are natural or painted/dyed. In the small town of Xico, Veracruz, the dedicated artisan Socorro Pozo Soto created a museum featuring her work in the medium from the past four decades.

Come to Milagro and participate in this millenarian tradition, guided by Nelda Reyes as you create your own corn husk flowers. The two-hour workshop is only $15 per person including materials and light refreshments, but space is limited. Go online now to reserve your spot!

A blurry vision of American Night

We're so excited for the next and last show in our 31st Season, American Night: the Ballad of Juan José! Over the weekend, the fabulous photographer Russell J. Young conducted a photo shoot with Ozvaldo Gonzalez, who plays the title character.

This blurry pic is a preview of their work together. Stay posted here and on our Facebook page to view the professional set!

3 Decades Making Theatre and “Culture Clash”

Ric Salinas, Herbert Siguenza, and Richard Montoya from Culture Clash. Photo: Eric Schwabel
Audiences in the Pacific Northwest have enjoyed Milagro’s provocative and irreverent work for over three decades, but for national audiences, another group has been a source and beacon of Latino-based social critique for almost as long: Culture Clash. As we prepare to open a play written by one of its members, we take a look at this influential troupe.

American Night: The Ballad of Juan José was written by Richard Montoya as a commission by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the madcap script is emblematic of their hilarious and unapologetic skewering of America. As its name implies, Culture Clash has never been about pleasantry or politeness, focusing instead on the uncomfortable edges where identity and prejudice rub raw, creating work that bites society on the butt to make it stand up and take notice. Although by all critical accounts they have more finesse and recognition, they have not strayed far from their beginnings three decades ago. Their biting comedy even made it to the small screen with a self-titled sketch comedy show that ran for 30 episodes.

Just like Milagro’s founder and Executive Director Jose Gonzalez jokes that he named the company because it was a miracle it existed, the members of Culture Clash had little reason to suspect the longevity and success of their troupe when they first came together on a fateful 5 de Mayo in Los Angeles. The original 6 members since narrowed down to three: Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza. Although historically and stylistically linked to the radicalized agitprop spirit of Chicano theatre, the group caught the attention and support of communities throughout the country, earning commissions from San Diego to Boston. In 2010, American Night premiered as part of OSF’s American Revolutions Cycle.

Montoya and company have been frequently in the news as of late, and featured on NPR as they present their latest work in Boston, Muse and Morros. Created from personal interviews and presented unflinching portraits of everything from a transgender activist to a slur-slinging gang-banger, Culture Clash’s latest offering continues their legacy of examining “post-colonial trauma”, challenging us all to laugh and think at the mirror they hold up. With the upcoming production of American Night, Milagro extends the invitation to all of Portland.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of all the news and events coming up around American Night: the Ballad of Juan José, and join us for this sharp-eyed and sharp-witted look at American history.

A look back as we await the arrival of "American Night"

While JTC's dark satire The Ministry of Special Cases plays at Milagro, rehearsals are under way for the next and last production in our 31st Season, American Night: the Ballad of Juan José, under the direction of the award winning director of Oedipus el Rey (2012), Elizabeth Huffman.

The play was written as a commission from Oregon Shakespeare Festival by Richard Montoya, and had its premiere in 2010. Montoya is part of the 30 year old comedy troupe Culture Clash, which is known for their exploration of provocative social issues and perspectives (as implied by their name). Currently performing the troupe's latest work "Muse and Morros" in Boston, Montoya and another CC member, Ric Salinas were recently interviewed by NPR about their history, plays and hilarious responses to "post-colonial trauma."

The report also features a short clip from Culture Clash's eponymous 90's era TV show with a typically irreverent take on immigration. While by all accounts their satire has grown and matured as the troupe's stagecraft became more formalized, today we look back and share this brief glimpse of the laughs to come.

Check out the video below and join us for American Night: the Ballad of Juan José playing at Milagro April 30 to May 23, 2015.


Next at Milagro: American Night: The Ballad of Juan José


 “A lovable hodgepodge of references, historical and pop-cultural, with a deadly
 serious message at its heart — The New York Times

Richard Montoya has thrown just about every element of Americana into "American Night: The Ballad of Juan José" except a roller coaster. But that's what his play is - and not just the coaster: It's the whole amusement park." —SFGate

Culture Clash, the veteran troupe of Chicano-American social satirists, is back with one of its most trenchantly funny works to date. LA Review


Portland Premiere • Save on fees by calling our box office 503-236-7253



Coming soon from JTC: The Ministry of Special Cases

In less than two weeks our friends from the resident company Jewish Collaborative Theatre present their latest work, the Page2Stage adaptation of Nathan Englander's award-winning first novel, The Ministry of Special Cases.

Dealing with the troublesome times of Argentina's Dirty War, JTC's newest production features some outstanding local talent. Check out their brief promo video below, learn more and get your tickets for this intriguing show at JTC's website!

The Ministry of Special Cases will play at Milagro March 14 through April 11. See you at Milagro!


Photo of the Day: Roosevelt & Opción Múltiple

Today, students from two high schools, Riverdale and Roosevelt, were at Milagro for a matinee of Opción Múltiple, the dark comedy in Spanish playing through the end of the month. After the performance, the group from Roosevelt High had the opportunity to share questions and feedback with director Nelda Reyes and her cast. The students' perspective was that much richer since they had the opportunity to read the script and meet the playwright before coming to the show.

Make sure to get tickets and catch the show before it closes Feb. 28, and read below for some thoughts from over two dozen e-mail messages we received from students!

Hello. My name is Sofia and I am one of Ms. Garcia - Velasco's AP Spanish students and I just wanted to say thank you for letting my class and myself to participate in watching the amazing performance of "Opcion Multiple". I laughed, smiled and cried watching this performance and I would watch it a million times more. Reading and watching the play are two completely different things and I'm glad that I got to experience both. Thank you again for giving us the honor of watching your performance and I hope to see it once again soon. Sincerely, Sofia Palavecino

First off, I want to thank you for the warm welcoming and for being so kind and nice with all of us. The whole experience was incredible, and the play was amazing. It was so cool seeing the whole story acted out after reading it. Comparing similar things to the story and finding out new things as well. It was funny, sad, serious; a masterpiece. I really enjoyed going and watching the play and have nothing but good and positive things to say about it.
Thank you, Jayson Garcia-Mireles 


Me gustó mucho la obra que presentaron. Yo la disfruté mucho porque estubo muy interesante y yo puede conectarme con los personajes porque yo creo que  todas las personas a veces cambian de humor o carácter en algún momento.  Muchas gracias por todo.
(Unidentified Student)


The actors were great and easily identified. Each one played the roles how I imagined it... I would recommend for people to go and watch it. The ending had me thinking.
(Michel Gonzalez Ramirez)


After reading the play in class I was really looking forward to watching it, and very nervous of seeing how it would come out. I really had high expectation for this play based on what I had read in class. I felt it was a well written piece and it met the expectations i had. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to inviting friends and family to attend Milagro in the future.
(Oscar Garcia Chavez)

Photo of the Day: A different "Sabueso"

Have you taken our personality quiz?

Before each performance of Opción Múltiple, you can take a brief quiz and see which of the characters' personalities matches you the best... and you could win!

Simply post your results and use one of our tags to let us know: #MilagroTheatre, #OpcionMultiple or #ILoveMilagro. We'll enter you for a drawing for an iTunes card. It's that simple! There are only 3 more performances, so make sure to catch the show and enter the drawing!

*************************

¿Ya tomó nuestro examen de personalidad?

Antes de cada presentación de Opción Múltiple puede tomar un breve cuestionario y determinar cuál de las personalidades o personajes se le asemeja más... y ¡podría ganar!

Simplemente publique sus resultados y marquelos con una de nuestras etiquetas, #MilagroTheatre, #OpcionMultiple or #ILoveMilagro. Así participará en una rifa para una tarjeta de iTunes. Así de simple. Sólo quedan 3 presentaciones. ¡No se pierda la obra ni la oportunidad de ganar!


Audiences agree: "Opción Múltiple" is a great choice!

The US premiere of "Opción Múltiple" is in the middle of its third weekend and the audiences are very happy with their choice to see it!Check out some of the great comments from audience members, and join us for one of the last 6 performances! 

Fresh and fun Mexican comedy tonight at Milagro--OPCION MULTIPLE about a woman with multiple personalities, all of whom appear as colorful characters in the play. It's light-hearted, fast-paced and colorful with a bevy of fine Spanish-speaking actors. I think that by presenting this play in Spanish, [Milagro] is capturing many cultural nuances and much humor that would be lost otherwise. There are English supertitles to enhance comprehension for non-Spanish speakers. I really enjoyed the opportunity to see a play by a contemporary Mexican playwright under the direction of Mexican-born Director Nelda Reyes.
- Ronni Lacroute

Saw 'Opcion Multiple' last night. It was a funny, provocative, insightful & creative dramatization of a very rare yet disturbing human experience. Great performance shout outs to the cast, Amalia, Vero, Roberto, Vicente, [Nurys] and Yolanda. You are all such talented actors/actresses & a joy to watch! Felicidades a la directora, Nelda. Bravo!
- Linda Castillo

This is a great play. Milagro continues to amaze and delight.
- Lydia Rich‎

My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves once we figured out what was going on! The English subtitles were super helpful! A very engaging show with a terrific cast!
- Martha Wagner

I was deeply moved. The cast is so tight and great that I could not stop watching.
- ‪#‎OpcionMultiple‬‬‬‬‬ audience member

The play was wonderful. We laughed, we smiled, we were a little scared, we laughed some more. All of the personalities were so well developed. My husband and I I enjoyed it immensely.
- Teresa Solano

Después de ver la obra "Opción Múltiple" completamente en español y con subtítulos en inglés. Recomendada! Vayan a verla! En el Teatro Milagro @Miracle Theater
- Roxy De La Torre

Con actores excelentes, tienes que ver la obra.
- Cecilia Giron

Gran obra, excelente actuación y gran dirección (graciasNelda Reyes por tu trabajo)... y como cereza del pastel, los mejores amigos que te puedes encontrar, aquí, allá o acullá...
- Arturo Villaseñor 

Sí, vayan a verla y a reir un rato 
- Yosoy Quiensoy

Super profesional y entretenida. La tienen que ver! Apoyemos el teatro en español y a nuestros artistas locales hispanohablantes! YeyNelda Reyes y Teatro Milagro por traernos esta obra a USA. ‪#‎opciónmúltiple‬‬‬
- Miembro del público

#OpcionMultiple is a wonderful production & the actors are superb. Another amazing play at @MilagroTheatre goo.gl/SOUI39
- J Bolanos

And a great reminder of the upcoming post-show discussion with mental health experts after this Sunday's performance:

Milagro Theater's "Opción Múltiple" (a play based on the experiences of someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder or ‪#‎DID‬‬‬‬‬) is being run through February 28. Following their matinee production on February 22nd, Athena will be one of the panelists who were invited to answer audience questions about DID. The matinee is @ 2pm and the panel is @ 4pm.
This was a non stigmatizing and playful representation of DID; nicely done, Milagro! 
- Integrative Trauma Treatment Center

What will YOU learn from LAx/IdeAL?

Milagro, from its very early days, has placed great emphasis on the importance of the arts in education. Many of the artists who have partnered with us over the decades also work to promote enrichment in the schools. 

This year, together with the Latino Artists eXchange/ Intercambio de Artistas Latinos, we have organized yet another opportunity to share, learn and be a part of this enrichment process to provide diverse and unique educational opportunities for our region and community. The 4th annual LAx/IdeAL gathering takes place this Saturday, February 21, 2015.

In response to the increase in Latino children in the schools (which now comprise 25% of Oregon 1st-graders), this one-day event will provide professional development, networking and strengthening of creative skills for artists and individuals interested in sharing their crafts and artistry coming generations. Whether exploring how to create curriculum or enriching an established subject, anyone interested in making the arts a larger part of our education will gain greater insight by sharing with this talented group.

During the later part of the workshops, children 6 years and older are invited, for the first time ever, to participate in fun workshops led by teaching artists in the afternoon!



Read on to see the full schedule and the workshops available. All events are free, but registration in advance is requested. Children are only admitted to workshops geared to their age group (2:15-3:15pm). Registration forms are accessible via: http://www.milagro.org/4-About-Somos/LAX-IdeAL.html, and in Spanish: http://www.milagro.org/4-About-Somos/LAX-IdeAL-sp.htm


Saturday, Feb 21 LAX IdeAL Schedule:



9:30am ~ Café Revolución ~ Café de olla y pan dulce

10:00am – 11:30am ~ Professional Development / Desarollo profesional:
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION AND ITS FOUNDATIONS /LA EDUCACION ALTERNATIVA Y SUS FUNDAMENTOS (Victor Hugo Garza. Escritor, músico, pintor, bailarín y payaso)

CREATING SUCCESSFUL ARTS PROGRAMS / DESARROLLANDO PROGRAMAS EXITOSOS PARA LAS ESCUELAS ~ Nelda Reyes, actor & director

11:30am - 12:30pm ~ Almuerzo / Lunch: Tamale Boy & La Bonita
 
12:30pm – 2pm ~ Arts workshops for professional artists:
LIVE ETHNIC MUSIC / MÚSICA ÉTNICA VIVA ~ Gerardo Calderon, compositor y músico

PERFORMANCE WITH COMMUNITY / TEATRO CON LA COMUNIDAD ~ Alida Wilson-Gunn, actor & director
 
2:15-3:15pm ~ Arts workshops for Children and professional artists / Talleres para niños y artistas profesionales:
BAMBOO FLUTE WORKSHOP / TALLER DE FLAUTA DE BAMBÚ ~ Alex Llumiquinga, músico  (Ages 8 - 75+)

CREATING YOUR MURAL / CREANDO TU MURAL, PASO A PASO ~ José Solis, muralista  (Ages 9 - 75+)

MAKING MUSIC WITH YOUR FEET / HACER MÚSICA CON LOS PIES ~ Luciana Proaño, dancer & sculptor (Ages 6 - 75+)

LIVE ETHNIC MUSIC / MÚSICA ÉTNICA VIVA ~ Gerardo Calderon, composer & musician (Ages 6 - 75+)

3:15pm - 4:30pm ~ Recepción: Con Andina & Red Tomato



For more information, please contact Olga Sanchez, lax@milagro.org or 503-236-7253

Check out the Opción Múltiple "personality" quiz!

The wild and willful characters of Opción Múltiple continue to touch, surprise and delight audiences, and many can't help but relate to Diana, Julia, Petra, Olga and Sabueso... or the gentlemen in their lives!

Find out which of these "Dianas" resembles you in likes and dislikes: fruity drinks or everclear? Is your idea of fun Disneyland, a romantic vacation or a literary stay-cation? Do you dress comfortably, elegantly, or a mixture of both? Explore the complexity that you share with them through the fun quiz available in the lobby before each performance of Opción Múltiple! Share your results on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with our hashtags (#OpcionMultiple, #ILoveMilagro & #MilagroTheatre), and you could win an iTunes card!

See you at Milagro, and good luck!

¡Participe y gane con nuestro cuestionario de Opción Múltiple!

English version to be published later today. 


 Los caprichosos y descabellados personajes de Opción Múltiple continúan emocionando, sorprendiendo y deleitando a miembros del público, y muchos no pueden evitar identificarse con Diana, Julia, Petra, Olga y Sabueso... o los caballeros en sus vidas.

Entérese cuál de las Dianas se asemeja más a usted por sus gustos y disgustos: prefiere bebidas dulces o aguardiente? Su idea de diversión es ¿Disneylandia, unas vacaciones románticas, o quedarse en casa con un buen libro? Su manera de vestir ¿es cómoda, elegante, o una mezcla?

¡Explore las complejidades que comparte con ellas con el divertido cuestionario disponible en nuestro vestíbulo antes de cada presentación de Opción Múltiple! Comparta sus resultados en Facebook, Twitter o Instagram con nuestras hashtags (#OpcionMultiple, #ILoveMilagro & #MilagroTheatre) y podría ganar una tarjeta de iTunes!

Nos vemos en Milagro, ¡y buena suerte!