Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido 
By Elisa Gonzales
Lyrics by Elisa Gonzales
Musical Arrangement, Composition, and Additional Lyrics by Moises Vázquez
Directed by Sara Guerrero

April 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 p.m., April 9 at 2 p.m. 
In the Rand Theater, located in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts at UMass

Tickets: Sold through the Fine Arts Center Box Office and at the door.
Prices: $15 general admission, $5 youth, students, and seniors
Content Advisory: Use of racial slurs and discussion of a child’s death

During the Great Depression, over one million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were illegally and unconstitutionally repatriated to Mexico. What they went through has reverberated through successive generations, and among those affected were Professor Elisa Gonzales’ great-grandparents. April 7-9, UMass Theater presents a workshop production of Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido, Gonzales’ compelling new musical about her ancestors’ experiences. 

“I owe so much of what I have been able to accomplish because of my family—my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents—I wanted to find a way to honor their stories and their legacy. Olvidados is my love letter to them,” said Gonzales.

This is a workshop production — meaning the piece is a work in progress and likely to undergo further revision — and it is a creative collaboration with Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. We are thrilled to have Breath of Fire Founding Artistic Director Sara Guerrero as director, and Ensemble member Moises Vázquez as the composer and musical director of the piece. 

Breath of Fire takes as its mission the support and enrichment of the lives of Latinas in visual & performing arts, working to raise awareness of critical issues in the community and to be a catalyst for personal healing and social justice, a goal which fits beautifully with Gonzales’ work.

The echoes of racial and ethnic scapegoating from 90 years ago sound eerily familiar in this musical, which highlights the corrido as a storytelling form. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States defines the corrido as a verse narrative, a story sung to a musical accompaniment, portraying characters engaged in heroic, often tragic, struggles in real or realistic episodes that reflect the language, experiences, and values of common folk. For approximately two hundred years, corridos have been a cherished part of a traditional heritage in various regions of Mexico and the United States.

“Stories like the Repatriation Drives of the 1930s never make it to our classrooms. Telling this story, at this time, feels even more critical as we are witnessing several states adopting laws and policies that would prohibit and restrict the teaching of anything related to race and racism,” explained Gonzales.

Come to the Rand Theater at UMass to see and hear us bring this powerful and uplifting story to the stage.

Get your tickets today!

Tickets can be purchased through the Fine Arts Center Box Office (click here to go directly to our events) or at the door before each performance.

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