News Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight~~~
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Immediate Release
October 23, 2019
Contact: Jackie Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org / 415 525 0410
BATCO "Death and The Artist" Opens With Standing Ovations!
Original Work by Mercedes Rein & Jorge Curi
Adaptation by Carlos Barón
Directed by Marcelo Javier
San Francisco-Multicultural theater expert and playwright Carlos Barón's "Death and the Artist" directed by SF BATCO co-founder Marcelo Javier received standing ovations over its opening weekend, October 17th-19th at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco's historic Mission District.
Artistic déjŕ vu is at work given "Death and The Artist" debuted at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, twenty years ago. The historic occasion was noted by Mayor London Breed's office with a proclamation in honor of The San Francisco Bay Area Theater Company (BATCO). Mayoral envoy DeAnthony Jones made the presentation to BATCO co-founders, San Francisco natives, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Marcelo Javier, BATCO's Board President Mecca Billings, and playwright Carlos Barón.
"Opening weekend was ELECTRIC! Between being honored by the Mayor's office, celebrating SFBATCO day and having wild, enthusiastic audiences laugh their heads off, it definitely made the long days and nights leading up to the show worth it. I just can't wait for people to see the next two weekends," said Director Marcelo Javier.
Javier was nine years-old when "Death and The Artist" first debuted twenty years ago. "When I found the play I was fascinated by it and totally amazed that some of the power struggles between government and the people, economic disparity, and other social conditions hadn't changed," continued Javier. "We added some themes from today's headlines and social conditions our country is dealing with and the play is funny and contemporary as ever."
"It is wonderful to see that "Death and The Artist" speaks to today's generation and affirms the experiences of those that have a few more notches on life's belt," said playwright Carlos Barón. "It was great seeing the energy of the cast and hearing the audience respond with such laughter."
With Latino culture at the heart of Barón's creative adaptation of "Death and The Artist," BATCO's production turns the Latino folk tale into a musical dramedy that juggles past and present conversations around life, death, inequity, and immigration, touching on moral questions we all face.
When an old Californio and ex-coyote named Pobreza ("Poverty" played by Alfred Muller) in his final moments on Earth tricks Death up a tree, he faces the dilemma "would you risk the fate of the world for a longer 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 from its plight. This dark comedy brings emblematic characters to life in a theatre experience that takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster full of farce, fear, fun and la familia with Pobreza's sister Miseria ("Misery" played by Mercedes White) always seeking company.
"It was such a pleasure to finally show off all of our hard work to an audience. It was well received and we had so much fun putting on the show," said Alfred Muller. "I am looking forward to hitting our groove."
"Death and The Artist" major sponsors include: BNY Mellon Management; California Arts Council; First Republic Bank; La Taqueria; Theater Communications Group and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. It runs over the next two weekends at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts with 8:00 pm performances Friday- Saturday and Sunday 2:00 pm. On Thursday, October 31st, the special Halloween show time is an hour early at 7:00 pm. Theatergoers are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. The ninety-minute nonstop show ends in time to make a Halloween party or two.
General tickets are $40. Senior/student and military $25 discounted tickets are available. Get tickets at www.sfbatco.org.
Death and the Artist is a 90-minute show that runs weekends through November 3rd at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, SF, CA 94110.
10/25, 10/26-8pm 10/27 - 2pm
10/31 - 7pm (Halloween Costume Night)
11/ 3 - 2pm (Closing performance)
BATCO 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 BARON
Carlos Baron (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.