Mexican Artist and Satirist José Guadalupe Posada Meets His Most Famous Creation the Calavera Catrina in a New One Act Play
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, November 09, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — “…So great that perhaps one day his name will be forgotten.” This bold statement about Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada was made by famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in 1930. Though often unrecognized by name, Posada’s images (especially the skeletal images created for Diá de los Muertos) are widely recognizable and have been championed, imitated and re-purposed by artists and social change leaders to this day. This master engraver and lithographer who had a profound influence on Mexican culture is the subject of a new play La Catrina and Posada: A Grave Dancing (The Dream of José Guadalupe Posada). A reading of the play as a work in progress Is scheduled at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, CA for November 17 from 6pm to 9pm.
Posada died alone in his Mexico City apartment from alcohol-related enteritis on January 20, 1913. There is little known about him except for the imagery he left behind. There are no known diaries, notes, quotes or interviews. Instead, much of his story is drawn from academic researchers and historians who have delved mainly into the vast body of work he produced, perhaps as many as 20,000 images. The most famous is now celebrated as la Calavera Catrina. Originally, a simple skull face image with a great flowery and feather bedecked hat poking fun at the upper class.
According to first-time playwright, Jim Nikas, the play is an attempt to imagine what a dream in the last period of Posada’s life might have been like and at the same to honor Posada’s legacy. Perhaps it occurred in a day or a flash of seconds. Nikas pondered, “What might Posada have thought about?” And continuing, “Since la Calavera Catrina image has become almost synonymous with Day of the Dead what energy might Posada have instilled in her?”
To explore these questions, the play opens with a despondent Posada sitting alone in his Mexico City apartment where he is suddenly visited by a mysterious yet familiar messenger. It is his creation known now as la Calavera Catrina. Has she come to comfort him? Or perhaps this calavera has a bone to pick with him on some hot issues? Real or dream, a debate ensues to a final dance in the grave.
A talented group of local artists has been assembled for the reading directed by Carolina Soza, Carlos Barón as José Guadalupe Posada, Tessa Martinez as la Calavera Catrina and music accompaniment by the Mission Bohemia Trio. The play is in one act and about an hour in length, preceded with a playwright talk and followed by a reception.
The reading will be at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts theatre located at 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. Seating is limited. Tickets are $15.00 Link for tickets: https://missionculturalcenter.org/event/la-catrina-posada-a-grave-dance/
The Posada Art Foundation is dedicated to promoting the legacy of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. www.posada-art-foundation.com
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