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UW Theatre and Dance Opens Season With ‘Las Pajaritas’ Oct. 22-23

October 18, 2021
three people reading a play at a rehearsal
Rehearsing for the UW Department of Theatre and Dance’s staged reading of “Las Pajaritas” are, from left, Aubree Tafoya, of Denver; Laramie community member Ana Paola Coupal; and UW Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Cecilia Aragón, the production’s producer. The production runs Oct. 22-23 in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance opens the in-person fall season with a dramatic staged reading of “Las Pajaritas” Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23.

“Las Pajaritas” is the inaugural production in the new WYOpen Stages initiative to support diverse works and performers.

The staged reading is produced by UW Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Cecilia Aragón and Associate Professor Patrick Konesko. The director is Anne Mason, a UW alumna, and founder and producing artistic director of Relative Theatrics in Laramie. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre.

Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for senior citizens and students. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts box office, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

Written by emerging playwright Jordan Ramirez Puckett, “Las Pajaritas” follows Lita, played by Aragón; Taylor, played by Aubree Tafoya, a UW Department of Theatre and Dance senior from Denver; and Anita, played by Ana Paola Coupal, a Laramie resident. Amber True, a UW Department of Theatre and Dance senior from Cheyenne, will read the stage directions. The department’s Emilygrace Piel, a senior, is the stage manager for the production, and the assistant stage manager is Noah Roedel, a junior. Both are from Cheyenne.

The production’s characters are a close-knit, multigenerational family of Chicana women who live together in the same apartment. As much as they might fight about everything from religion to dating, there isn’t anything that the women wouldn’t do for one another. According to the production, there will always be a division in their relationship because Lita’s and Anita’s brown skin and Taylor’s white skin have affected how they each are able to move throughout the world.

The characters struggle to understand one another, their evolving relationships and the competing demands of duty and cultural identity.

WYOpen Stages is an outgrowth of the UW Department of Theatre and Dance’s commitment to addressing issues of diversity, inclusion and equity on its home stages. The initiative aims to develop, produce and present socially conscious and thought-provoking work that engages the community in dialogue on issues of diversity. This includes a commitment to increasing and diversifying recruitment; retention; production; and casting practices as the department pursues an equitable and inclusive culture in production work. 

“Our hope is that taking a more comprehensive and structural view of our production season will give us ample time to build bridges, earn trust and secure the resources needed to make necessary changes in our industry,” Aragón says.

The UW Department of Theatre and Dance is collaborating with Mason and Relative Theatrics as a community theater partner. Additional support is provided from the Wyoming Arts Council; the Lincoln Community Center; KOCA 93.5 FM, La Radio Montañesa: Voz de la Gente; and UW partners in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Latinx and Hispanic E-Network, the student group MEChA and the Latina/o Studies Program.

“This engaged initiative seeks to bridge divides, highlight diverse issues and further a goal to work with our local communities in ways that respect everyone’s knowledge, resources and expertise,” Aragón says.

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email kirisk@uwyo.edu.

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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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