|Alvaro Saar Rios|
Alvaro Saar Rios’ new original work LUCHADORA! was recently selected as part of Teatro Vivo’s fourth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival. The three-night event brought together playwrights and audience members to explore cross-cultural topics, modern dilemmas and timeless themes and traditions with Latino roots. In this interview Rios shares his impressions of the festival and reveals more about the inspiration behind LUCHADORA!
As a playwright, what was it like to be part of this festival?
How would you describe the Austin Latino theater community? How does it compare to Milwaukee?
|LUCHADORA! Illustration by Olive Young, MIAD|
LUCHADORA! is set in a world that traditionally isn't seen on the American stage. It's a play that mixes the uncommon with the familiar. It's a story about family, something that I hope everyone can identify with, and yet it is set in the secretive world of lucha libre aka Mexican wrestling.
When I was a kid, I would watch wrestling a lot. On TV as well as live at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston. Sometimes, if my grandmother was visiting, she would watch it with me. At times, I think she enjoyed it more than I did. This was part of the impetus of LUCHADORA! I wondered. Why did my grandma like wrestling so much? I never got a chance to ask her so, being a storyteller, I came up with my own reasons. What if she had a secret? What if she actually used to wrestle? It may seem far-fetched but if you think about it, grandparents in general have all kinds of fascinating secrets. Some get shared. Some don't.
What else should audiences know about LUCHADORA!?
I am very grateful for this opportunity that Jeff Frank and First Stage have provided for me as part of the Wisconsin Cycle. I look forward to rewriting the play over the summer and making sure I tell the story I set out to tell.
LUCHADORA! premieres as part of First Stage's 2014-2015 season – April 10-26, 2015. Reservations for school groups, private groups and Family Packages are available now. Visit www.firststage.org for more information.
To learn more about Austin Latino New Play Festival, Click here.