El Sol Que Tu Eres (The Sun that you are)
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2005
Updated: Sunday, July 19, 2009 01:07
"We're in the business of memory," says Anthony Garcia, director of the upcoming play El Sol Que Tu Eres (The Sun That You Are). "One big tragedy we have in this fast-paced consumer society is that we lose our memories. Memory makes us eternal, and this play is all about the afterlife."
Garcia originally came to UCD as an English literature major, moving to journalism and then to theater, where he thrives. Garcia has been the Director of the Su Teatro ("your theater") company since 1974, and is an instructor in Chicano Studies at Metro State. In his 17th season with Su Teatro, Garcia has authored over 20 plays.
His latest piece is the second of a trilogy that Garcia is developing with Daniel Valdez, an internationally renowned artist and friend of Garcia's. Danny Valdez, illustrious for his roles in Zoot Suit and La Bamba, composed and will perform the music for the play. "I've been looking for musical collaboration for this piece for a long time and tried several others before asking Danny. He was able to comprehend my vision and helped to illustrate it with his own," says Garcia.
El Sol blends the boundaries between traditional myths, interlocked with his own vision and those of his partners. The result is an incorporation of Aztec and Greek mythologies of Orpheus and Eurydice (Orpeho and Rudi in the play), components central to the film Black Orpheus (1959). "One word," Garcia says. "Convergence." In El Sol, Garcia entertains themes of the Day of the Dead, love, sacrifice, tradition and indigenous memory.
"I want to begin with a natural, rational world because that is what's ordinary," says Garcia. "The underworld rationale has a new set of rules. Once we are within the supernatural, the dynamics really play out, but that is reality."
The story of Orpheo (Huge Carbajal) and Rudi (Elizabeth Botello) is about love and very much about sacrifice. Orpheo, given the gift of song, can render rocks flexible and calm the vigor of the trees. He falls in love with Rudi who, while chased by Narcisco (Jesse Ogas) , is bitten by a venomous snake and killed. Orpheo then takes it upon himself to travel down into the inferno of Tarterus in an attempt to rescue his love. The guardians of the underworld of Tarterus are easily swayed by Orpheo's lyrical lament, and allow him to take Rudi back to earth under the condition that he does not look back to make sure she is following. Due to Orpheo's fallibility and natural distrust, he does indeed look back and Rudi is taken from him forever.
In the final level of the play, nothing in Tartarus is rational; it is a haunting world of discord that floods the characters and tone of the play in paramount fantasy. "It is the ending that really gives itself to us for modification, since that is where most renditions diverge," Garcia says. Another divergence for Garcia is giving Eurydice (Rudi) a voice: "In the traditional story as well as the film, Eurydice has no voice. I wanted this play to be about giving her a voice on top of all of the surrounding intensity."
"The story is about love, yes, and sacrifice, and how love can really conquer all, including death," Garcia explains. "Society in this country has such strong hatred and actions in our name are frightening in that love can conquer our responses. Can love conquer fascism? World violence? These questions are explored. It is a call to art, love, honesty, compassion and the constant battle that is inert to all of these. As Caesar Chavez said, 'If you are not sacrificing for others, you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing.' Sacrifice makes people stronger and benefits others. Being asked to sacrifice is a reward and fulfills what we are asked to do here on earth; we don't know destiny until we're in the middle of it."
"I love this world because we are creating inspirational work for the community and giving voice to the Chicano/Latino experience," Garcia explains. The play is multigenerational. "Young people will connect to this play, because it is about young people."
Garcia is highly aware of the necessary role of art and tradition within the self and it serves as a memory placard. "There is so much that is out of reach and we spend our entire lives trying to regain what we once realized. No one realizes the tragedy; it is invisible. The worst that could happen is that we become irrelevant to our children. We need an instant relevance continuum - I want to be remembered," Garcia says.
Such an eternity can be established through tradition, family and the innumerable artistic expressions that emerge from these relations. "Our grandparents tell us where we come from and connect us to our ancestors," Garcia says. "Our children learn these things from us and connect us to our futures. How do we become immortal? Easy: through our families ... forever. Art is the preservation of memory; in the end it is what we have." This premise is consistent to Garcia's message: "The theme is always there for me, especially within the connection to traditions."
"Estamos en el negocio de memoria," dice Anthony Garcia, el director dela obra de teatro, El Sol Que Tu Eres/The Sun That You Are. "Una de las tragedias que tenemos en este mundo rapido de la socieda consumidora es que perdemos nuestras memorias. La memoria nos hace eternos, y esta obra es sobre la vida despues de la vida."
Este trabajo mas reciente es el segundo de una trilogia que Garcia esta creando con Daniel Valdez, un artisa internacionalmente famoso y amigo de Garcia. Danny Valdez, conocido por sus actuaciones en Zoot Suit y La Bamba, ha compuesto y tocara la musica para esta obra de teatro. "He estado buscando una colaboracion musical para esta obra por mucho tiempo y le pregunte a otros antes de preguntarle a Danny. El fue capaz de comprender mi visio y me ayudo a ilustrarla con la mia," dice Garcia.
El Sol mexcla los límites entre mitologia tradicional, y su propia visión y la de sus compañeros. El resulatado es la incorporación de las mitologias Aztecas y Griegas de Orpheus y Eurydice (Orpheo y Rudi en la obra), los mismos componentes que forman parte de la pelicula Black Orpheus (1959). "Una palabra," Garcia dice. "Convergencia." En El Sol, Garcia entretiene los temas de El Dia de los Muertos, amor, sacrificio, tradición, y la memoria indígena.