Monday, October 31, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey;

I had a hard time working out what I wanted to say in today’s Blog. We are all very excited to be given an opportunity to show a story that a whole lot of people haven’t seen yet. And that is after all why we do this, because we love telling a story. This one will be especially touching to a lot of people. While we may not have many things in common with the main characters most of us have at some point in our live felt lost. That’s part of growing up sometimes, getting lost, and finding that place that you can call home again. See this story and you will see parts of your own story, regardless of what background you came from.

That is after all one of the reasons we see shows and movies. Not just to get away for a little while, but also because it helps us understand events in our own lives. It helps us look at our own past with a fresh set of eyes. Those old arguments and disagreements that you may have had in the past, which you thought you were over, well sometimes they can still haunt you. All our characters in our show have broken relationships. Seemingly shattered beyond repair, but life isn’t like glass. Stories like this one shows us that no matter what happens you always have hope to repair what was once broken. Come see the wonderful show, and let us tell you a story of hope, and of second chances. Who knows, afterwards you may see hope in something that you thought was broken.

Carlos Iruegas, Actor
26 Miles

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey; Taking the LEAP

What can I say… I have recently had a tremendous life journey, one that was good and bad, but one that has taught me a lot about myself and how to approach the world around me. What person doesn’t go through these kinds of things in a lifetime? Most of us do! Well, I’ll admit, I’m still learning, but I’m a little closer… I’m learning to take LEAPS.

And that is how 26 Miles speaks to me. Both women in this play are discovering to be the women they want to be… Stretching their comfort level to take a LEAP: traveling across country and forcing themselves to relate to one another. They are finding HOME in the sense of being in a place where they can truly belong and it is realized in their relationship as Mother and Daughter, no longer estranged.

At first I thought I could not connect with the role of Beatriz, the mother. Why not? I’m a Mother and we are about the same age. But that was just it… I could and it wasn’t just about being a Mother! It was about taking a leap of Faith. I am just like her. Maybe not in the exact situation but I’m learning to recover from past choices, whether made on my own or not. And Beatriz realized she needed to take a leap to make a change. And that is how we can all relate to this story. So I am taking a leap in this role, hoping I can organically portray her emotional journey to becoming the woman she wants to be!

-DeAnna Gonzales, Actress
"Beatriz" in 26 Miles

Thursday, October 20, 2011

26 MILES - ON THE JOURNEY; And now a word from our token gringa...

And now a word from our token gringa..

When Artes De La Rosa announced their 2011-2012 season, I wanted to know what the December play was all about! I had read A View From The Bridge before, being an Arthur Miller fan. But I had only heard a little bit about Quiara Alegria Hudes’ play, 26 Miles. Not being a latina, I usually throw the chance of being in another ADLR show, to the back of my mind. I've always enjoyed the way ADLR takes pride in their culture, in beautiful and classic plays (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, View From The Bridge, The V-Monologues). Give the audience something they don't expect! But I'll tell you one thing.. It’s hard to find a theatre company that takes pride in Black Dutch/Cherokee Indian heritage!

Being a dance instructor for ADLR, 26 Miles kept my interest, seeing the season announcement on every brochure, poster, program, etc.. Something was calling me to read the script, and audition.

My best friend, who also works for ADLR, Rob Bosquez gave me a copy of the script one night at Stage West (A theatre also in Fort Worth). We also both work at SW in the Ol Vic’ Cafe. I sat down immediately, during my shift, and read the first few pages. I sipped on my ice cold diet dr pepper, snacked on veggie straws, in a dimly lit dinning area, and got lost in Hudes’ beautifully written piece. As my eyes traveled to the pages, the sentence that stuck with me, was the first in the script. It was a character description of Olivia. It read, OLIVIA: 15, looks white. Looks WHITE?! Did I read that right?! Well, I just might have a chance here..

Months later, I find myself at auditions, after reading the script dozens of times again. I read for Olivia, with a few ladies reading for the mother, Beatriz. A few days later, I read the email Adam sent offering me the role of Olivia, and all I could think was.. Well, they don’t call me the token gringa at ADLR, for NOTHING!

Half of the script, of 26 Miles, has to do with culture. It's important that the audience connects each character with where each character grew up. They all share different traditions, types of speech, manners.. And it all comes from their culture. I understand why Hudes' emphasizes why Olivia must look white, in the character description. She describes Beatriz as "Cuban, Dark Skin". It's very specifically written for each character's race.

It really is an honor to work with Adam Adolfo once again on the Rose Marine Stage. ADLR is great to work for, and they have never seriously offended me. Except for that one time the staff said my show proposition, "Cupcake; The Musical", wouldn't be a success. No hurt feelings, though.

-Georgia Marshelle Phillips
The Black Dutch, Cherokee, Gringa.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let the Journey Begin - it'll only take 26 MILES

So I woke up this morning...and there was a chill in the world... a crispness to the breeze... an aroma in the air... it's the feeling of change, more acurately it's the feeling of the change that comes with a long journey.

This journey will take us 26 MILES into the heart of a story from a Latina Jewish Woman as she shares the trials and tribulations of mother daughter relationships! Quiara Alegria Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize Nominated Playwright of the Tony Award Winning Musical IN THE HIEGHTS. Her intimate and passionate family comedy 26 MILES captures a very special realtionship that will be presented on stage at The Rose Marine Theater by Artes de la Rosa. The story is simple...

The custody battle left them estranged for eight years. The road trip will take them two thousand miles across the country. This family comedy follows an opinionated Cuban mother and her shy Jewish daughter as this pair reunite to escape their reality, chasing their dreams, reminding us that the best souvenirs on the road of life are the relationships we make along the way...

We're very excited to be presenting this play this Holiday Season in its FORT WORTH PREMIERE... it's an escape from the sugar plum fairies and Christmas Carols around the city, but still of that celebratory family life style! It's a story for Mothers and Daughters to celebrate and get lost in. Last evening, the cast settled around a table with a couple of pizzas to meet eachother for the first time and read this phenomneal play aloud. As the words came out of their mouths, the air in the office began to crackle and a sense came that a very special story was begining on what will be for the cast and myself a very special journey. A journey that will ask us a very simple question...


Please meet the cast of the FORT WORTH PREMIERE of Quiara Alegria Hudes 26 MILES.

Starring as the fiery Cuban mother Beatriz, DeAnna Gonzales makes her Artes de la Rosa debut. Returning to the Rose Marine stage in the role of the sensitive misunderstood Jewish/Cuban daughter is Georgia Marshelle Phillips. Rounding out the cast as Father Aaron & StepFather Manuel respectively are Carlos Iruegas and David Johnson. Mr. Iruegas was last seen in Artes de la Rosa’s A View From The Bridge while Mr. Johnson is making his first appearance on the Rose Marine stage. Artes de la Rosa’s Artistic Director Adam Adolfo will direct & design this production with Lighting Design by Juan Gonzalez and Stage Management by Oliver Luke.

Photo of the Cast of 26 Miles after their First Rehearsal!

Over the next few weeks you'll get the opporutnity to meet the members of the cast as they blog for you their journey through the rehearsal process. If you have questions you'd like them to answer please feel free to comment here or on our Facebook and we'll make sure they answer those questions for you!

So, we've got a full tank of gas, a mixed cd of great songs, and our map... let the journey begin.

-Adam Adolfo
Artistic Director
Artes de la Rosa