UIC School of Theatre and Music, Teatro Vista, and Centro Romero Co-present

Romero: A STAGED READING

BY XIOMARA CORNEJO; DIRECTED BY ENSEMBLE MEMBER SANDRA MARQUEZ

February 15, 2023

Co-sponsored by: UIC Center for Latinx Literature of the Americas and UIC Institute for the Humanities

LookOut

About this event

Óscar A. Romero, the Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador who sacrificed his life for the liberation of the poor, is called upon by the heavens for sainthood. A guilt- ridden Romero struggles to accept the call for sainthood while the suffering of people persists. In a magical journey through time, we bear witness to Romero’s acts of defiance as he continues to walk alongside the poor.

Romero was inspired by Salvadoran priest Archbishop Óscar A. Romero, who received death threats from the right-wing military for denouncing human rights violations during the Salvadoran Civil War, yet declared he was not afraid of death because he believed in resurrection; if killed, he would resurrect in the Salvadoran people. Shortly after, while giving Mass, Romero was assassinated by the right-wing military in 1980. Romero’s death marked the beginning of a 12-year long war and the forced migration of Salvadorans to the US where he remained a cultural icon. In 2018, he was officially declared a saint. The impetus for the play is the following question: what would it mean for Romero to “resurrect” through the people? What would “resurrection” look like? Thus, Romero explores the notion of Romero’s metaphoric resurrection through theatre, music, and puppetry and examines how one can manifest Romero’s social justice legacy. 

 

Cast & Crew

Author: Xiomara Cornejo
Director:
Sandra Marquez

Stage Manager: Deya Friedman
Dramaturg: Bryar Barborka

Romero: Moises Rodriguez
Father Grande/Musa: Madrid St. Angelo
Arch Angel #1: Ramón Camín
Arch Angel #2: Paloma Lozano
Eduardo: Tommy Rivera Vega
Gina: Ayssette Muñoz
Carmen: Wendy Mateo
Santiago: Fabian Guerrero
Stage Directions: Lola Fratto

 

Additional Performances

For the first time, the UIC School of Theatre and Music (STM), Teatro Vista, and Centro Romero—with generous support from the UIC Center for Latinx Literature of the Americas, the UIC Institute for the Humanities, as well as Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series—join forces to present a series of staged readings of the award-winning play, Romero, by Dr. Xiomara Cornejo. The STM, Teatro Vista, and Centro Romero are Chicago-based organizations that work towards uplifting the voices and narratives of diverse and marginalized communities. Whether it be through youth mentorship, university curriculum, theatre productions, or community-based activism, these three entities have for years demonstrated the impact of the arts as a vehicle for liberation and social change. As a theatre maker, educator and former community organizer, Xiomara recognized the significance of presenting Romero as a joint effort and the value each organization could bring to the project, and thus coordinated this collaboration.

At Centro Romero
Saturday February 18, 2023, at 4pm
Click here for more information and to reserve tickets


At the UIC School of Theatre and Music
Monday February 20, 2023, at 6pm
Click here for more information and to reserve tickets

 

Development History

As a Salvadoran-American, Xiomara grew up with the social justice teachings of Saint Óscar Romero and liberation theology, and was inspired to writeRomero while taking Dr. David Crespy’s advanced playwriting class in the University of Missouri (Mizzou) Writing for Performance Program. While at Mizzou, Xiomara received her doctorate in theatre and performance, and worked as a director, designer, playwright and dramaturg. Romero is also a chapter of Xiomara’s current book project, Performing Resurrection: Upholding the Spirit and Legacy of El Salvador’s Saint. Oscar A. Romero through Bread and Puppet’s and MECATE’s Radical Theatre Activism and Liberation Theology, which centers on transnational solidarity activism between U.S-based Bread and Puppet Theater and Nicaragua’s MECATE (Movimiento de Expresión Campesina Artística y Teatral) through radical theatre, political puppetry and features a twenty-foot Óscar Romero puppet. In 2022, Romero received the KCACTF Region V National Partners of the American Theatre “Outstanding Play” award and was a semi-national finalist. Romero was one of three full-length plays featured at the 2022 Mizzou New Play Series. Xiomara plans to direct Romero in the future as part of a national arts project, which will tour throughout various cities in the U.S with large Central-American and Latinx populations. Performances of Romero will include puppetry workshops and other forms of community engagement through social justice theatre. 

 

Project Links: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Linkedin

 

Running Time

90 minutes including one 10 minute intermission. There will be a talkback following the show.

Due to the high volume and wide breadth of work we present, we are often not able to proactively offer content advisories for individual performances. However, if you have specific concerns about stage effects (such as strobe lights or fog/haze) that might have a bearing on comfort or well-being, or if you would like to know more about the age appropriateness of the performance, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Running Time

90 minutes including one 10 minute intermission. There will be a talkback following the show.

Content Advisory

Due to the high volume and wide breadth of work we present, we are often not able to proactively offer content advisories for individual performances. However, if you have specific concerns about stage effects (such as strobe lights or fog/haze) that might have a bearing on comfort or well-being, or if you would like to know more about the age appropriateness of the performance, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.