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Violence and Corruption Alter Lives in World Premiere of 'Timboctou'

Interview with Timboctou director Martín Acosta. Video: Scott Groller

High resolution photos of a Timboctou rehearsal at CalArts.

CalArts Center for New Performance in association with Duende CalArts and the University of Guadalajara Foundation present the World Premiere of 'Timboctou'

A story of intertwined lives in contemporary Mexico performed in English and Spanish with subtitles

Influential Mexican Director Martín Acosta describes the process as “A dialogue of gazes between artists from both Mexico and the United States”

(February 16, 2012 / Los Angeles, CA) Strangers find their lives suddenly intertwined by acts of violence and corruption in Timboctou, a bilingual production with subtitles. Co-produced by the CalArts Center for New Performance and UDG Cultura, the presenting organization based at the University of Guadalajara, Timboctou will receive its world premiere March 3–11, 2012, at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles. Performances will be held Saturday, March 3 at 8:30 pm; Sunday, March 4 at 7:00 pm; Tuesday–Saturday, March 6-10 at 8:30 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are now available in person at REDCAT’s Box Office, by phone at 213.237.2800, and online at redcat.org.

Writing with pulp fiction excess, mixed with caustic humor and fearless observation, award-winning Mexican playwright Alejandro Ricaño addresses life in contemporary Mexico with a fresh and trenchant voice. Set against the volatile backdrop of border politics and the drug wars, Ricaño’s play illustrates the narrow line between victim and victimized as strangers have their lives suddenly intertwined through acts of violence and corruption, leading them to dream of Timboctou, a mythological, unattainable refuge at the end of the earth.

“Life is very ‘chingona’ awesome,” remarked 27 year old playwright Ricaño. He continues, “I want the audience to feel they should be doing something more than what they are. These are not problems of good guys versus bad guys, but rather of us all.”

Celebrated Mexico City-based director Martín Acosta leads the binational cast and creative team for this highly visual multimedia work, a unique collaboration between the CalArts Center for New Performance and its bilingual theater initiative Duende CalArts and the University of Guadalajara's Cultura presenting organization. Following the Los Angeles performances, Timboctou will be performed Teatro Esperimental in Mexico.

“In Mexico our new generations, happy to just survive, find themselves forced to make decisions that are absurd, unthinkable, or even illegal,” notes Acosta. “I am interested in Timboctou as interpreted by the artists at CalArts—a dialogue of gazes between artists from Mexico and the USA. The dual collaboration allows for a complex and rich framework: the only way of tearing down walls and crossing rivers and tunnels without visas, with the powerful flight of imagination.”

Artistic director of Teatro de Arena and described by El Informador as “one of the most important creators of theater in Mexico,” Martín Acosta has produced theatrical works performed throughout the Americas, Spain, and Portugal. His signature productions include Hamlet; an adaptation of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which toured the U.S. for three months prior to performances in New York at LaMama; and John Jesurun’s bilingual Faust/How I Rose at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Alejandro Ricaño is the author of 10 published works, which have been performed throughout Mexico as well as in Spain, Hungary, Belgium and Miami. A two time finalist for the Gerardo Mancebo del Castillo National Prize for Young Playwrights, he was awarded the prize in 2008 for Más pequeños que el Guggenheim (Smaller than the Guggenheim). Last November, his play Riñon de Cerdo para el desconsuelo (Pork Kidneys to Sooth Despair) was included in the sixth annual U.S./Mexico Word Exchange, a 10-day residency and theatrical dialogue between Mexican and U.S. playwrights held in New York, sponsored by Lark Play Development Center.

Timboctou has received significant support from the California Community Foundation, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the University of Guadalajara Foundation.

To request press accommodations, interview with the artists, or additional media and images, please contact:

Margaret Crane, Media Relations Manager, CalArts
661.222.2787 or mcrane@calarts.edu

Diana Wyenn, Marketing and Media Relations Manager, REDCAT
213.237.2873 or dwyenn@calarts.edu


Written by Alejandro Ricaño
Directed by Martín Acosta

Friday, March 2, 8:30 pm (PREVIEW)
Saturday, March 3, 8:30 pm
Sunday, March 4, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 6, 8:30 pm
Wednesday, March 7, 8:30 pm
Thursday, March 8, 8:30 pm
Friday, March 9, 8:30 pm
Saturday, March 10, 3:00 pm & 8:30 pm
Sunday, March 11, 3:00 pm

Tickets: $20–25 general ($16–20 students)

Seating is general admission and tickets are available for purchase in-person at REDCAT Box Office, by phone at 213.237.2800, or online at redcat.org.

REDCAT | Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater

631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

REDCAT is located at the corner of West 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.

Last edited by dthatt on Feb 21, 2012
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