American Mariachi: Creators in Conversation
Heartbeat of Mexico
Musco Center For The Arts
Latinx Staff And Faculty Forum
College of Performing Arts
Learn about the hit play with music, American Mariachi, from concept to performance – directly from the playwright José Cruz González, music director Cynthia Reifler Flores, and dramaturg Shirley Fishman. They will discuss the history of women in mariachi, their personal connections to mariachi, and how this subject is central to the acclaimed new play. To be part of this lively and educational conversation – audience members will be invited to submit questions ahead of time and will be invited to ask questions throughout the event.
José Cruz González (Playwright) has previously written the plays Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), September Shoes (Geva Theatre Center), Curious (Teatro del Pueblo), The San Patricios (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Highest Heaven (Childsplay), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), and The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse; 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist). Mr. González also wrote for “Paz,” the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at The Kennedy Center. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences, was published by University of Texas Press in 2009. He is a professor at California State University, Los Angeles and a member of the Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona.
Cynthia Reifler Flores (Music Director) also music directed American Mariachi for the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. American Mariachi is the fifth original work by playwright José Cruz González on which she has collaborated. Ms. Flores, a classically trained violinist, learned mariachi the traditional way through apprenticeship with male mariachis from Mexico, immersing herself in the mariachi subculture. She has performed with the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas and was an original member and bandleader of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first U.S. all-female show mariachi of international importance. Ms. Flores teaches mariachi at California State University, Los Angeles and University of California, Riverside, and she performs with Corazón de México in L.A.
Shirley Fishman (Dramaturg) also served as dramaturg for the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit presentation of American Mariachi. Her other credits include Indecent and Come from Away (both Tony Award winners), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Glengarry Glen Ross, An Iliad, Hands on a Hardbody, American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, José Cruz González’s The Astronaut Farmworker, and BD Wong and Robert Lee’s Alice Chan, among others (La Jolla Playhouse), Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters, Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano, David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, and, as co-curator, the New Work Now! festival (The Public Theater), Herbert Siguenza’s Manifest Destinitis (San Diego Repertory Theatre), and Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India and Taylor Mac’s Hir (Magic Theatre). Ms. Fishman is also affiliated with Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and Native Voices at the Autry, among others.