Ruben C. Gonzalez’ Powerful ‘La Esquinita, USA’ at Arizona Theatre Company Feb. 9-26
Play Tells the Stories of a Once-Booming American Border Town, Now Forgotten
Photos by Tim Fuller
Rubén C. González’ powerful, poetic play about love, forgiveness and ultimate redemption connects 10 people left behind in their little corner of the world to struggle with eternal human relationships in the acclaimed La Esquinita, USA at the Temple of Music & Art from Jan. 14 through Feb. 4 in Tucson and from Feb. 9-26 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. The 2016-17 season is sponsored by I. Michael and Beth Kasser.
An Arizona premiere from the famed El Teatro Campesino and directed by its Producing Artistic Director Kinan Valdez, La Esquinita, USA tells the story of people seeking identity, connection and peace.
What happens to a small border town when big promises from big business are broken? At a bus stop on the 40A Red Line, in cross-cultural hip-hop fueled language at once poetic and powerful, González, one of the Southwest’s premier Mexican-American writer/performers, presents a tour-de-force of interlocking stories: ten characters on a passage through a once-booming town, now forgotten.
The main source of employment in town, the Thompson Tire Factory, has gone overseas, leaving the town’s infrastructure in disarray. Told by the wise, omniscient custodian, Lencho, and experienced through the eyes of 18-year-old Daniel, La Esquinita, USA connects the disparate stories of those left behind – of the people we, as a society, systematically choose to avoid – into a captivating new American narrative of self-identity, unity, and peace. La Esquinita, USA is a virtuoso solo performance – a gorgeous, brave story of love, forgiveness, and ultimate redemption.
“Rubén C. González shape-shifts lives like el gato in his many-hued kaleidoscope of the imagination,” Alexandra Bonifield wrote in Theatre Jones. “His live stage art is transcendent, exhilarating in its simplicity, yet full of emotional depth. … (His) adeptness at lightning-fast transitions from one character to another, never losing a beat or dropping a line or the story’s thread, and inhabiting each character with a full stage role’s dedication, is a marvel to behold.”
González, who trained at the London Academy for Performing Arts and Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City, created La Esquinita, USA under El Teatro Campesino’s New Work’s Lab and it was included as part of Encuentro 2014, the largest Latino theatre arts festival in the United States.
La Esquinita, USA is performed in English and contains mature language and subject matter.
Ticket prices are $30-$75 and available in-person in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center, or by calling (602) 256-6995 or online at www.arizonatheatre.org.
For more information call (602) 256-6995 in Phoenix or visit www.arizonatheatre.org.
Director: Kinan Valdez
Assistant Director: Alexandra Meda
Scenic Design: Regina Garcia
Lighting Design: Michael Oesch
Sound Design: Anahuac Valdez
Resident Sound Designer: Brian Jerome Peterson
Dramaturg: Elaine Romero
Production Stage Manager: Glenn Bruner
Fact Sheet: La Esquinita, USA
Written and performed by Rubén C. González
Directed by Kinan Valdez
Herberger Theater Center
222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix
Previews Begin: Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.
Closing Performance: Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.
Ticket prices are $30-$75 and are available in-person at the Herberger Theater Center box office or by calling (602) 256-6995
About Arizona Theatre Company:
Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) is the preeminent fully professional theatre in the state of Arizona committed to inspiring, engaging, and entertaining - one moment, one production, and one audience at a time. Boasting the largest seasonal subscriber base in the performing arts in Arizona, ATC is the only resident company in the U.S. that is fully based in two cities providing its wide array of programming and community outreach across the region. Now in its 50th season, more than 130,000 people a year attend our performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of home-grown productions reflects the rich variety of world drama—from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works—along with a wide array of community outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs. Designated The State Theatre of Arizona, ATC is led by Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein and a dedicated Board of Trustees.