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El Nogalar

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Rudy Ramirez

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of El Nogalar

Written by Tanya Saracho
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Presented by TeatroVivo

The cartels maintain control through violence and intimidation, but also via the exploitation of the Mexican class system.
Mexico has one of the most significant divides between the rich and poor.
46% of Mexican citizens live below the poverty line.
The bottom 10% consume less than 2% of country's resources.
The top 10% consume 36% of the country's resources.
Cartels offer high-paying positions, and not just for the poor
Drug transportation
Violent enforcement
Running the business (book-keeping, creating propaganda, etc)
Create propaganda to promote themselves
Narcomantas: banners promoting specific cartels
Narcocorridos: songs chronicling and promoting narcos (drug runners) and their lifestyle
El Narcotrafico and the Class System
El Narcotrafico: A History
Origins: 1920-2000
Smuggling from Mexico begins with liquor during Prohibition in the U.S.
(1920-1933), then shifts to illegal drugs
Smugglers organized into a single group in 1980 by Miguel Felix Angel Guallardo
Protected by allies in Mexican government
divides organization into smaller groups--cartels--to make it harder to end trade via arrests
The Drug War: 2000-Today
President Vicente Fox sends military into Nuevo Laredo to fight cartels in 2000
110 people die in Nuevo Laredo over next 5 years
Current national estimates: over 120,000 dead and 27.000 missing
"Bad Neighbors"
The largest consumer of marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the world is the U.S.
NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement
Eliminates many (but not all) tariffs on trade between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Cheap U.S. devastates Mexican agricultural economy and food self-sufficiency
Increases maquiladora (factory) labor in Mexico: low-paying work at long hours in poor conditions

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
Born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
Identifies hometown as McAllen, TX
Moves to Chicago in 1998
Named Best New Playwright in Chicago, 2010
Chicago has one of the most organized Latin@ theatre communities in the nation
Goodman Theatre: major regional theatre, hosts biannual Latino Theatre Festival
Teatro Vista: Latin@ Equity company since 1990
Saracho takes major leadership roles
Founder of Teatro Luna, an all Latina theatre company
Founder of ALTA: Allied Latino Theatre Artists, a resource organization for Latin@ Theatre Artists
Television writer
Writes for
How to Get Away with Murder
Writes about being the only Latina
in the writer's room in her new play

Meet Our Playwright:
Tanya Saracho
El Nogalar
by Tanya Saracho
Grandfather was a serf
who purchased his family's freedom
Serf: originating in medieval times around the invasion of the Vikings, a serf would live and work for a lord who would in turn provide protection from invaders
Serfs were not paid by lord: they paid their lord in crops for the farming that they did on the lord's land (in effect, paying to work)
Russian serfs could not legally leave the lord's land
(in effect, they were slaves)
Serfs officially freed in 1860
Father owned general store
Chekhov shows writing promise early on
Wins Pushkin Prize at 28
Investigates prison conditions and psychological hospitals in Russia
Begins working with Stanislavski
in 1898
First attempts at Realism were commercial flops

Realism was NEW
The Gayevs
, wealthy family running out of money, return home from years abroad
, the female head of the family, whose son died years ago, has just broken with a lover.
, the adopted daughter, has been running the house.
, a descendant of serfs who has grown rich, encourages Lyubov to sell her land for people to build vacation homes; she refuses.
, the young daughter, begins flirting with
Peter "Petya" Trofimov
, the son's old tutor, a university student with proto-Socialist leanings.
, the maid, has a doomed romance with the valet, Yasha.
Lopakhin buys the land.
Lopakhin almost proposes to Varya, but does not.
The Gayevs leaves the land.
What did Tanya Saracho keep?
What did she change?
Why do you think she made those choices?
Clip: The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre in London
The Cherry Orchard
Pay attention to what Saracho says about:

Cultural Rights
Bad Neighbors
In Her Own Words
El Nogalar
by Tanya Saracho
Company 301: For Your Consideration
What Did You Think?
What did you like?
What did you dislike?

Let's break this one down by character:

Team Wicked Child: Anita
Team Luwis: Dunia
Team Bantam Beth: Lopez
Team Pandora: Maite
Team Luck Angel: Vale

Next Week: Cohen New Works Festival
You must see TWO shows.
Include proof of attendance with Paper #2
Just posted link to Announcements for tickets
Includes show description
Arrive at least one hour ahead of shows to secure tickets.
My show, EMMA WHEN YOU NEED HER, will be easy to get into.
Mon, 4/20: Guest Lecture (no Prezi)
Performances for GET SEXY, GET CONSENT
4/21 at 7:00pm in CAL 100
4/23 at 7:30pm in PHR 2.108
4/24 at 5:00pm in CLA 0.130
El Nogalar
Who Am I?
PhD Candidate in Performance as Public Practice
Same program as Abimbola, Zoë and Gabby
"Candidate:" working on dissertation (shut up)
Dissertation Topic: writing across race and culture in new play development
Director, Performer, Writer
Associate Artistic Director and Dramaturg at
Auditioned 2009, Associate Director 2011
Directed for Shrewd Productions, Sky Candy, Austin Bike Zoo, University of Texas, The Lark (NYC), The Playwrights' Center (Minneapolis) and now
Teatro Vivo
Director: Best Job Ever
Director: gives a production a clear stylistic point of view that integrates all the elements of the performance.

In other words,
if it's onstage, at some point along the way the director said "Yes."
Or at least stopped saying "No."
This can be done:
in collaboration with a playwright
typical of new plays
without the collaboration of a playwright
most common
typical of published plays
what I did on El Nogalar
as the leader of a devised performance
Devised performance: a group of artists collaborate to write a play together
from scratch, may or may not have "playwright"

With a Playwright on a New Play? Been There
With a Group on a Devised Piece? Literally Got the T-Shirt
Still Now by Katie Bender
Qualities of Starlight
by Gabriel Jason Dean
by Reina Hardy
Without a Playwright on a Published Play? Done That
King Lear
by William Shakespeare
El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho
A Midsummer
Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare
What Do I Even DO?
Sing Muse
Work with producers
Marketing concepts
Work with actors
Staging of action
Work with designers
Design concepts
Production meetings
The Cherry Orchard
El Nogalar
is an adaptation of
Anton Chekhov's
The Cherry Orchard
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
Grandfather was a serf
Serf: peasant who worked the land for a lord, somewhere between a sharecropper and a slave
Begins working with Konstantin Stanislavski at Moscow Art Theatre
in 1898 (company's second season)
Stanislavksi: creator of the "Method" approach to acting
Fought with Chekhov over play
Stanislavski: tragedy
Chekhov: comedy
The Cherry Orchard
premiers in 1904
Initially a flop
Today considered a masterpiece of Realism
From Cherries to Pecans
Saracho keeps basic format:
a once-wealthy family (the Gayevs/the Galvans), now nearly broke, returns to their ancestral home
the older daughter (Varya/Vale) stayed behind to care for the estate
they must sell their home before the bank intervenes
a man (Lopakhin/Lopez) who grew up as a poor worker on the estate is now rich and can help them
Lopakhin/Lopez and Varya/Vale have a will they/won't they possible romantic connection
the mother (Lyubov/Maite) refuses to acknowledge the problem
Setting becomes an
estate in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 2011
Cherry trees become pecan trees
12(+) characters reduced to 5 (onstage)
2 other characters mentioned (offstage)
Role of Dunyasha (maid) becomes bigger and deeper as "Dunia"
New "epilogue" scene at the end with Dunia and Lopez
Younger daughter (Anya/Anita) loses her love story
Her love interest,
Petya, is now an offstage hitman, Pedro
Economic changes influenced by drug cartels
From Russia to Mexico
Five groups will take on each of the five characters in
El Nogalar
and their counterparts in
The Cherry Orchard
Anita and Anya
Dunia and Dunyasha
Lopez and Lopakhin
Maite and Lyubov Andreyevna
Vale and Varya
What did Tanya Saracho use?
What did she change?
What's your take: did you like one better than the other? Did one character shed light on the other?
What are the forces that affect the characters lives?
This is BROAD: can include social and cultural forces!
Who is the audience for this piece and how might it affect their understanding of the drug cartels and the crisis in Mexico?
Next quiz Wed, Feb 17th
All lectures from now until then
Death of a Salesman
A Raisin in the Sun
Next presentation Fri, Feb 19th on
A Raisin in the Sun
Need to meet with one person from that group this week.
And what about
Clybourne Park
Extra Credit:
Fixing Timon of Athens
How does the production (acting and design) portray the ways in which outside forces shape the character of Timon? (1.5-2 pages)
Due Fri, Mar 4th
Full transcript