Award-winning Latin American play comes to ASU's West campus
The Los Angeles-based troupe 24th Street Theatre brings its award-winning production of “La Razón Blindada (Reason Obscured)” to Arizona State University’s West campus Sept. 26-28.
“La Razón Blindada” is based on the classic novel “El Quijote” by Miguel de Cervantes, Franz Kafka’s “The Truth about Sancho Panza,” and testimonies by Chicho Vargas and other political prisoners held in the 1970s at the Rawson Prison during Argentina’s dictatorship.
In the play, two political prisoners, oppressed by physical and emotional abuse, find solace in meeting every Sunday at dusk to tell the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Their storytelling unravels amid the extreme limitations imposed by their condition of inmates in a maximum security prison. It is fueled by the vital need to tell each other a story that could save them, that could transport them to a human adventure situated in the realm of imagination, where hardship and fear can't reach them, where the most intense pain can be mitigated by the act of imagining a different reality.
“We are extremely pleased to give Valley audiences the opportunity to see this important, critically acclaimed work,” said Claudia Villegas-Silva, assistant professor of Latin American studies in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the West campus.
Los Angeles Times reviewer F. Kathleen Foley said that “La Razón Blindada” produces an effect on audiences that is “hallucinatory, trance-inducing and surreal, an absurdist construct that hammers home man’s gross capacity for inhumanity – and his transcendent ability to endure.”
“La Razón Blindada” was written and directed by Aristides Vargas, considered one of the most dynamic and influential theater artists to emerge from South America. Born in Cordoba, Argentina, he was forced into exile at the age of 20 by one of the bloodiest dictatorships in Latin America and moved to Ecuador. In 1979, Vargas, along with a group of immigrant actors originally from Argentina and Spain, founded Grupo de Teatro Malayerba in Quito, Ecuador. Grupo Malayerba has since become one of the most important theater ensembles in Latin America. Over the years, Vargas’ works have expressed his ever-evolving social, political and artistic dissatisfaction with the status quo in his country. His works have been produced worldwide.
24th Street Theatre’s production of “La Razón Blindada won LA Weekly’s top honor, the 2011 Production of the Year Award, selected over 400 other Los Angeles productions. 24th Street won the 2012 national TCG Peter Zeisler Award for Innovation in the American Theatre. The company is also a leader in arts education. Its Enter Stage Right DVD features appearances by Jack Black and is in more than 50,000 classrooms nationwide. Since beginning its Teatro Nuevo Latino Theatre program in 2003, 24th Street’s Spanish language shows have toured to dozens of cities in Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia and the United States.
The production of “La Razón Blindada” at ASU’s West campus will be performed in Spanish with supertitle translation.
Performances are set for 7:30 p.m., Sept. 26 and 27, and 3 p.m., Sept. 28, in Second Stage West. The theater is in the lower level of the University Center Building on the West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 for seniors and $5 for students, faculty and staff. Visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/833282 to purchase tickets.
Information about this and other upcoming arts event at ASU’s West campus may be found at https://campus.asu.edu/west/events.