WHERE ANGELS COME TO SING: A Celebration of the Mora Valley

WHERE ANGELS COME TO SING: A Celebration of the Mora Valley

7 pm Saturday, June 30, 2 pm Sunday, July 1

James A. Little Theater, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This production, the last of the 2011-2012 THEATERWOK Season, is the result of a yearlong story gathering project carried out in the Mora Valley by THEATERWORK and students of Mora High School. Hundreds of stories were collected by students – stories which reveal hard work, resilience, generosity, great imagination, courage, a sense of hope, lively good humor, a sense of reverence … all emerging from the extraordinary landscape of the Mora Valley of New Mexico. Since September, students went out as story collectors with questions like these:  “ What are we leaving behind ourselves? What is our particular set of gifts and hopes? Whose hands have built up this place? Whose hearts have held the memories we must not lose? What do people want the young people of the Valley to carry with them into their lives? What do they need from them? On December3, 2011 the first production to come out of the project, ROOTS & WINGS: A Call for Stories was performed in the midst of a wild snowstorm to a packed gymnasium. That production featured the work of twenty young actors and musicians and involved members of the teaching staff at the high school at every level of preparation. Members of THEATERWORK’s design and technical team were all part of the production as well. The characters in WHERE ANGELS COME TO SING! are storytellers, poets who have gathered in the Valley, drawn by the beauty, by the songs and voices of the people who live on its hillsides and along its streams. They also are pulled to the many abandoned farmhouses and chapels, slowly returning to the earth out of which they were made.  The storytellers, as the piece moves on, begin to disappear or be absorbed into the young people who portray them – you’ll see!
One of the stories featured in the play, in the very words of the person who told us:“ I was about 13 years old. I was going hunting with my cousin. It was in December – back in the day it used to snow a lot! The snow was up to my stomach. My cousin and I went different ways. I was on my horse Belly… Belly was very tame – she was a good horse. I saw a deer – it went under a tree! Belly and I went around the tree and she slipped on a rock….she started to slide! So, I got the rope and jumped off her and tried to pull her up. When she was halfway up she bucked – and she went down the canyon.I flew to the edge of the canyon and almost fell down too – I was very scared! I climbed back up on my feet and started yelling for my cousin. When my cousin and his horse came, we tried getting on it But it would just lay down. We had to find our way out – it was getting dark fast. The snow was deep and my cousin’s horse didn’t want to walk through it! We got to Rio de la Casa and went to a house – This old man put warm cloths on our feet and gave us milk and bread. We stayed the night. The next day I went home. I walked from Rio to Holman, I thought I was going to be in trouble- Belly was gone… But my dad said as long as I was OK – it was alright”.
Please make time to see the work of the young people of the Mora Valley. They need to know that their artistry, insight, commitment and capacity for the beautiful are something the world wants – needs- from them. Photo below by Sharon Stewart

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