June 2, 2020

Community News

The Art of Resistance: BATCO presents a Latino folktale about how death brings meaning to life in their daring dramedy, Death and the Artist
September 27, 2019

Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight~~~


BATCO presents a Latino folktale about how death brings meaning to life in their daring dramedy, Death and the Artist.

Original Work by Mercedes Rein & Jorge Curi

Adaptation by Carlos Barón

Directed by Marcelo Javier

October 18th through November 3rd, Preview on October 17

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

2868 Mission Street, SF, CA 94110

The San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO) presents Death and the Artist: A Latino folktale about how death brings meaning to life.
 The show takes place at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts from Friday October 18th through November 3rd 2019 (over Halloween and Día de los Muertos), with a press and VIP preview on October 17th. Attendees are invited to don their best costume for our special Halloween night show on October 31st or come dressed in your best Calaca at any performance for a chance to win a special prize.

Adapted from Mercedes Rein & Jorge Curi's Death and the Blacksmith (El Herrero y la Muerte) by Chilean Playwright and Bay Area resident Carlos Barón, Death and the Artist is directed by BATCO Co-Founder Marcelo Javier.

When an old Californio and ex-coyote named Pobreza (Poverty) tricks Death up a tree in his final moments on Earth, he faces the dilemma "would you risk the fate of the world for a better life?". With death gone, chaos ensues and everyone from the Governor to St. Peter and the Devil try to persuade Pobreza to let Death go to save humanity. This dark comedy brings emblematic characters to life in a theatre experience that will take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster full of farce, fear, and fun.

With Latino culture at the heart of this creative adaptation, BATCO's musical dramedy juggles past and present conversations around life, death, inequity, and immigration, touching on moral questions we all face.

The mid-1990's and mid 2000's productions of Carlos Barón's play were well-received, "...because the play is based on a very engaging folk legend, with issues that affect all human beings ...and because the script made people laugh." Said playwright Carlos Barón. He continued:

" I am very happy and proud to see my re-writing of "Death & The Artist" being produced by BATCO. I believe that the script will still make people laugh, but what's different is that BATCO has also challenged me. They have challenged me to explore the main subjects of the script more deeply: What if Death stops in the world? What's the difference between poverty and misery? Will the rich ever be satisfiedWhat should we fear more: dying or not living?" And, could I incorporate current issues that occupy our minds, such as immigration?

A talented, diverse cast uses over-the-top characters, a folk story setting, and humor to make important issues accessible to people from all backgrounds.

"As a child I grew up in SF going to the Día de los Muertos parade every year in the Mission. Instead of being fearful of it all, I marched through the streets in awe of how humorous and silly all this death stuff was. Now as the director of Death and the Artist, that same little kid is chuckling while talking about some really dark stuff like immigration, poverty and death." said Marcelo Javier Pereira, Director

"Death and The Artist deals with heady subjects indeed, but the basic intent of the 2019 production remains: we want people to laugh…but we also want them to think, to be so impacted by the show so that they'll continue talking about it long after the curtain falls…or at least until they get to their hard-earned parking spot."

Said Carlos Barón.

Tickets are available online at 

Interviews available on request:
 Marcelo Javier (Director), Carlos Baron (Playwright), and Claudio Silva (Batco's Production Manager) are available for interviews in both english and spanish.

Press - Please RSVP to attend the Preview: Contact Death and the Artist PR Liaison, Jackie Wright at jackiewright@wrightnow.biz / 415 525 0410


Showtimes Summary

Death and the Artist is a 90-minute show that runs from October 18th-November 3rd (Preview Oct 17th) at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, SF, CA 94110.

10/17 - 8pm (Preview performance)

10/18 - 8pm (Opening night),

10/19, 10/25, 10/26, 10/27 - 8pm

10/31 - 7pm (Halloween Costume Night)

11/1- 8pm

11/ 3 - 2pm (Closing performance)


 is a nonprofit organization committed to uniting artists and audiences through live theatre that reflects the authentic perspectives and histories of the San Francisco Bay Area. We support artists through creative development and full productions, and inspire the next generation of performers through acting labs and mentorships.

ABOUT Carlos Barón

Carlos Barón
 (Playwright), born in Chile, has been living and doing theater in the SF Bay Area since the late sixties. From 1978 until 2016 he worked at San Francisco State University. He is now an Emeritus Professor in Theater Arts. He has acted with the Berkeley Repertory Theater, The San Jose Repertory Theater, Thick Description, San Jose Stage Company, The One Act Theater Company, The Eureka Theater, among others. He founded Teatro Latino of San Francisco, (1977 to 1984) and the Rainbow Theater Company (1990-2015). For Teatro Latino, he wrote "Pasión y Prisión de Lolita Lebrón" (1978-79), "Liz Estrada" (1982), "The Truly Needy Traveling Show" (1983), "Barriovisions" (1984). In 2006, he wrote "Poeta Pan", (for Rainbow Theater) about the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, which toured to Chile, twice. Most recently, he worked as a writer/performer in "Son de la Misión", with his friend John Calloway. (2016). He wrote "La Posarela" in 2008, for the Community Music Center. He acted in the production for 8 years, as "El Diablote". He is currently a columnist for "El Tecolote" ("The Devil's Advocate").

ABOUT Marcelo Javier

Marcelo Javier
 co-founded the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO) in 2014. Born and raised in San Francisco, Marcelo has been performing, directing, and causing all sorts of theatrical chaos in the Bay Area for most of his life. Before founding BATCO, he helped produce two Off-Broadway productions, The Black Book by Phil Blechman and Rogerandtom by Julien Scwab. Recent acting credits include Not Another Holiday Show! (BATCO), Home for "all of" the Holidays (BATCO),  Skippyjon Jones (Theatreworks USA), Rent (Syracuse Stage), A New Brain (SU Drama), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bathwater Productions). Directing credits include Celebrate 12th Night Joyfully With Kathryn Crosby (NYPL at Lincoln Center), Cinderella (African American Shakespeare Co.) Not Another Holiday Show! (BATCO), La Posarela (BATCO 2017 & Community Music Center 2015), The Complete History of America [Abridged] (Black Box Players), Between Dirt and Sky (SFYT) and Too Many Tamales (Marsh Youth Theatre). For more info and the founding of SF BATCO, visit www.sfbatco.org

ABOUT the Cast and Production Crew

Death and the Artist features a cast that includes Alfred Muller, Mercedes White, Michael Huston, Tommy Clifford, Julio Chavez, Ron Chapman, Benjamin Garcia, Isa Musni, Sedrick Cabrera, and Mitos Martinez. The production team features sound design by Louis Lagalante, lighting design by Claudio Silva Restrepo, set design by Bo Golden and costume design by Sehar Peerzada.



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