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World Premier Play Explores Day of the Dead Themes

By Liza Keogh

Before the first words of the play are even spoken, Life, Death, and Resurrection fall from above, rise up from below, and invite us into a no-holds-barred theatrical event. The yearning for a life lived fully is woven throughout Last Dance (October 21-November 1 at the San Miguel Playhouse).

Last Dance
Directed by Kate Rowland
Wed-Sat Oct 7:30pm
Sun, 5pm
San Miguel Playhouse
Independencia 82
200 pesos
Tickets sold at Galeria Izamal, Mesones 80
Sponsored by La Calaca Festival

What follows is a sometimes lyrical, other times staccato exploration of a character (formerly an angel, now an “ex-angel”) opening to love in all its human forms. Oregon writer Dan Cohen had this to say after watching the early rehearsals of Last Dance:

“We find ourselves looking on a fully realized world with a landscape dominated by a Baobab tree, the magical Tree of Life. On the other side of the stage a giant wing has fallen from the heavens, spiky and broken but still invested with the spirit of flight; you can ride it as it glides, whirls, and spins across the stage.

This landscape is the crossing point for the passing of souls. There is only one way a soul can cross here and that is through death. Then—something new! We are witness to a miraculous suicide stowaway adventure.

“In this poignant and dark comedy, the audience is present for something completely different, a play that is an offering to life as well as a tribute to the Day of the Dead. It’s a play about a woman making courageous choices. It may have a fantasy premise, but the story is right here, right now. And it stars Jamie Lee Christiana and Kat Macmillan. These two riveting actors pull back the veil between worlds as we are invited to see them making dangerous choices in life and death. We witness an angel as she passes into human form and takes a second chance, her last dance.”

Playwright Sky Yeager says that he has always believed in the inherent potential of live theater to transform and inspire. “Live theater should move you, pick you up in your seat, and shake you just a little bit. We can be changed in the way that we see ourselves and the world while sitting in the dark with a group of strangers.”

Yeager’s first play went straight from the page to the screen, winning the coveted Gold Plaque Award for Best Narrative Film at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1994. His new script won Scotland’s first Page to Stage contest, and from that was re-imagined as the anchor piece for an event in Australia. The upcoming San Miguel production will be the first time Last Dance has been offered in its entirety.


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