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So go the ghosts of México, así van los fantasmas de México

By Matthew Paul Olmos and Melissa Eidson

In 2012, Sam Shepard was awarded the Ellen Stewart Award to honor his work as a playwright who has consistently challenged conventional theatrical boundaries. As part of the award, Shepard chose Matthew Paul Olmos to create a new work to be produced at La MaMa.

So Go the Ghosts of México
Presented by Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromante (Bellas Artes)
Thu, Nov 21, 8pm (Spanish)
Fri, Nov 22-Sun, Nov 24, 8pm (English)
El Sindicato
Recreo 4

Olmos’ play, So Go The Ghosts Of México, is inspired by the true story of Marisol Valles García. The play follows a young woman who volunteers to replace a beheaded police chief and sets off a chain reaction in her husband, the Narcos and perhaps the entire country of Mexico. This is the first in his three-play cycle dealing with the US/Mexico drug wars.

To describe Olmos’ play solely in terms of drug politics and violence would be missing half the point. The magical realism that prevails throughout draws on García Márquez-esque notions of the grotesque and Isabel Allende’s feminist portrayals of traditional Latina womanhood. Mari, the central character of the play, struggles with her goal to keep the town’s children from joining the cartels, her role as a woman to her husband, and as a mother to her unborn child, all the while feedback crackles from the omnipresent radio.

Matthew Paul Olmos was born and raised in Los Angeles to a police officer and labor/delivery nurse. He moved to New York in August 2001 to pursue playwriting.

He is the 2012 Princess Grace Fellow in Playwriting, was selected by Sam Shepard as the inaugural recipient of La MaMa e.t.c.’ Emerging Artist Award, a 2013 Sundance Institute UCROSS Playwright, a 2013-14 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a 2012-12 New York Theatre Workshop fellow; 2012-13 Primary Stages Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group playwright; two-time Resident Artist at Mabou Mines/Suite, Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member, Rising Circle Collective writer, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, 2009’s Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellow and was recently awarded the “Top prize for the Americas” by the BBC 2011 International Playwriting Competition for his play The Nature of Captivity. Recent finalist for InterAct Theatre’s 20/20 Commission; semi-finalist for P73 Fellowship, O’Neill Conference, and was a Playwrights of New York (PONY) nominee.

He is currently working on several new works including: a new work entitled The Drinking Of An Unhappy People About American Nationalism, being developed as part of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Stelsin New American Writers Group; a still untitled piece based on the behavior of cancer cells; and a three-play cycle entitled So Go the Ghosts of México, which focuses on the US/México drug wars though his fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop.

La MaMa e.t.c. world-premiered the first play of So Go the Ghosts of méxico in April 2013, directed by Meiyin Wang, where it was a New York Times Critics Pick.

Melissa Eidson, the director, came to San Miguel de Allende in 2001 by way of New York City, where she taught English Literature and Writing at Pratt Institute and CUNY, and performed poetry and plays in various venues, such as the Neighborhood Playhouse. After moving to Mexico in 2001, she got into making independent films, working with Mexican filmmakers like Carlos Reygadas (Best Director Cannes 2012) and IMCINE. She then produced/directed El Barrio, covering the neighborhood of Tepito in Mexico City, which was screened at various film festivals including the Berlin Film Festival and won best documentary at both the New Yorkand Los Angeles Independant International film festivals.


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