The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday February 3rd

Carolina Performing Arts takes new interpretation of "The Mexican"

Telling a story better than Jack London might sound intimidating, but two playwrights have accepted the challenge.

Ricardo Bracho and Virginia Grise will present their adaptation of London’s “The Mexican” today and Saturday with a staged reading.


Time: 8 p.m., tonight (10/12) and Saturday
Location: Historic Playmakers Theatre

“The Mexican, as Told By Us Mexicans” recounts the story of a Mexican boxer who escaped to the United States during the country’s 1910 revolution and later connected with revolutionaries in El Paso, Texas, and Los Angeles.

Grise said the staged reading follows London’s original work word-for-word with the only exception being a letter he addressed to people in the Mexican Revolution, which has been added as the prologue.

“Part of what we were interested in is seeing what happens to the text when we don’t change the text, but we change who’s in it,” Grise said.

Bracho and Grise, both queer playwrights, purposefully cast actors that contradicted London’s original description of the characters, reversing gender roles and ethnic roles.

The UNC performance of “The Mexican, as Told By Us Mexicans” is part of Carolina Performing Arts’ Process Series, directed by Joseph Megel.

The series allows writers to work on new performances, showcase their work and receive feedback.

“It’s a work in process because the two artists working on it are creating layers of experience and (the staged reading) is one layer,” Megel said.

Megel, who is directing the staged reading, said the queer telling of the work adds diversity to the Process Series.

He said he expects Grise and Bracho to add music and staging later, but this weekend will be about the delivery.

Ashley Lucas, a professor of dramatic art, is playing two characters in the staged reading.

Lucas, also the founder and producing artistic director of the Teatro Latina/o Series, said the production holds significance for her.

“I’m a Chicana,” Lucas said. “I am very interested in Mexican history and in theater about Latinos in the United States.”

The play is free and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the artists.

“Your opinions are your ticket,” Megel said.

“It’s one of the parts of the process.”

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