By Abigail Tejada |Executive Editor|
The revival of “Alicia in Wonder Tierra” forgoes grandness under Professor Johanna Smith’s direction in favor of such vivid characters, making it a must see production.
As I walked in I was mesmerized by the set as it flourished with hues of blue, red, yellow and green.
Sugar skulls were carefully placed on a table along with paper flowers and a grand mariachi sombrero.
The journey commences with Alicia’s mother (Elizabeth Stewart) forcing her to go to a Mexican curio shop, when Alicia really only cared about going to the mall.
At first hesitant to accept her fascination towards the Latin American imports, Alicia (Mariana Martinez) reaches for a Mexican doll, Rosa.
Suddenly, Rosa vanishes. As Alicia looks for Rosa she is approached by a Day of the Dead sugar skull (Henry Ornelas IV), thus beginning her adventure through Wonder Tierra.
Alicia met a variety of characters: a Day of the Dead sugar skull, an armadillo (Aylin Lopez), a trumpet playing puppet that goes by the name of Ramon (Raul Martinez), an Aztec priest (Michael Baca), a pottery maker (Michael Matta) and the Elvira gang (Rocio Villalvazo, Courtney Tropez and Maria Alvarado.)
Smith explained that she kept the play as close to the script as possible.
“The play writer wrote it out of her subconscious, so a lot of stuff is really visual and the script does not always make a lot of sense. Like at one point it actually says ‘a box with legs enters, looks around, and then walks away’,” said Smith.
“It was just really interesting to try to figure out how we can solve the crazy images that she put into the script,” she continued.
I was impressed by the actors being able to deliver a scene, unfazed while moving props around.
The premise of this play is Alicia accepting who she is while also exploring her culture a little more.
“It almost felt like Alicia was being shamed for her lack of Spanish, she was repeatedly referred to as a Pocha,” said attendee Maria Gomez.
“I found it interesting during the dinner scene when the guests were arguing about what is the correct way to speak— Spanish or Nahuatl,” continued Gomez.
As Smith said, “this play is for all ages, especially those who are young at heart.”
While the last day to see “Alicia in Wonder Tierra” at our campus was on Nov. 20, if you are interested you can catch it at the Palm Desert Campus for an additional four shows on Dec. 1 and 2 at 9:30 a.m. and at noon.