In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, Kids-N-Co. is showcasing a bilingual, locally written play about the Mexican holiday starting this Friday, Oct. 20.
“Dolores” follows Jose Luis, who struggles to cope with the loss of his sister, Dolores. As he prepares to honor her for Dia de los Muertos with his family, he runs into a friend who helps him visit his sister. When he discovers that Juan is a ghost, he soon realizes “that the world of the living and the world of the dead cannot exist together.”
The play was written by Lluvia Almanza and Orlando Rodriguez, two longtime theater professionals who moved to New York City this year to further pursue their careers.
“Dia de los Muertos is important to me because it is a part of my culture, and as this culture becomes more popular in the U.S., I want to make sure people understand its true meaning,” Almanza said. “I hope audience members will be comforted at the thought that although our loved ones may not be physically there, they are with us as long as we carry them in our hearts.”
Rodriguez said he’s excited to know that his first full-length play is coming to life.
“It is an amazing feeling,” he said. “Though I won’t be able to see the finished product, I know the show is in good hands.
“Dia de los Muertos does not make the pain of losing someone go away, but it makes it easier when you are able to honor them through this day,” he added.
The children who play spirits in the play designed their own altars. For director Eurydice Saucedo, working with children while taking on a play that has serious undertones was a testament to the maturity of the actors.
“The spirit world is not to be afraid of when you have the love of your family,” Saucedo said. “They were quite aware and it was refreshing to see these young actors tackle such a heavy subject with deep understanding and reverence.”
Saucedo said she was also proud to see how the kids evolved in their roles from the first day of rehearsal to tech week.
“We have several young and new actors to the stage, and they have grown immensely,” she said. “Their innate understanding and instinct have made the characters come to life.”