From Director Karen Estrada: ON THE WINGS OF A MARIPOSA

2:41 PM
Karen Estrada, Director 
The flight of a monarch butterfly seems leisurely, whimsical, and light. But imprinted in the body of that butterfly is the assured knowledge of countless generations. It takes three generations of monarchs to finish one complete migration, from the Oyamel fir forests in the mountains of central Mexico to Canada and back again. Along the way, year after year, the monarchs rest in the same meadows, the same treetops, the same towns all along their North American route. Their genetics tell a story to the next generation and the next after that. That story makes them “remember” the paths.

In Western society we are often afraid to talk of the people who have passed away. We fear sadness and our own mortality – the migration of our bodies from birth to death. But a gift of the dead is realizing that love is a story written in our ancient biology. It doesn’t go away but is passed from generation to generation. That realization can give us rest on our journey in the same way the butterflies understand which places offer comfort and peace. In our play, one small human learns from countless generations how to put ritual in place to soothe grief, celebrate life, and make friends with the aching joy of being human. She is unique, yet also entirely part of the whole.  

I remember my grandmothers. My remembrances are whimsical and light. One would serve me tomato soup in a small tomato shaped jam jar. The other would play cards with me long past the time she wanted to stop. This play has taught me that their love for me is written in my own ancient biology, and it has taught me to be unafraid of feeling sadness and to remember my loved ones out loud in the hopes of connecting with them and with you.

We, our little community of theater-makers, are so pleased to tell you this story to remind you that we all share this particular migration, to remind you that you are not alone, to comfort you in your unique grief, and to hold you in the awe of our shared humanity.

Soar with Pilar at Marcus Performing Arts Center's Todd Wehr Theater, Oct. 18 – Nov. 10!

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