MainStage presents "¡Bocón!" by Lisa Loomer, a light-hearted fable for the entire family, that opens Nov. 30 at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse on the ASU Tempe campus.
The production, directed by Megan Weaver, is filled with music, mystery and song, and has audience members asking, "What's a Bocón?”
The answer is a loud-mouth, someone who has much to say and finds it impossible to repress his thoughts. In this fable, which uses a mixture of Spanish language and cultural icons along with humor, mysticism and song, the Bocón is 12-year-old Miguel, who lives under a repressive military regime in an unnamed Central American country.
A natural storyteller, Miguel loses his voice when his parents are abducted and he begins a metaphorical journey north to the City of Angels to heal himself. Along the way he meets an unusual traveling companion, La Llorona, the legendary "Weeping Woman" of Mexican and Central American mythology.
“Miguel's story is relevant to immigrant children from all parts of the world ... and to any child who is learning the many meanings of finding one's own voice,” says Weaver, an MFA student in the ASU School of Theatre and Film’s directing program. “The audience will see Miguel learn to speak and sing out loud in the face of oppression and injustice, to tell his story to the world.”
Weaver says she was instantly captivated when she first read California playwright Lisa Loomer’s 1989 work.
“The piece has a pulsing rhythm even on the page,” Weaver says.
"¡Bocón!" was inspired by the late 20th century civil wars and political unrest in Guatemala, El Salvador and Chiapas, Mexico, but the work reaches farther back in time, critiquing the ripple effect of European colonialism on these regions and the cultural blends and biases it fostered for centuries.
The play runs through Dec. 9 with performances at 7:30 and 2 p.m. Tickets are $8-$16 with seniors, ASU faculty, staff and students eligible for special rates. Herberger Institute students attend free but must reserve tickets in advance. Special discounts for groups available. Contact the Herberger Institute box office, 480-965-6447 or the School of Theatre and Film, 480-965-5337, for more information.