Friday, October 20, 2006

Theater Festival: The Mysterious Tree

October 13th was our theater festival, and it was a huge hit. With a live seven-piece marimba band and two one-hour plays, we were the event of the week. An audience of 150 was polite and quiet as we abandoned the microphones and had them sit through pitch-black transitions. We went all out with sound effects and lighting—having earlier recorded fireworks and later performing part of the night with shadow-theater—to make it a unique experience for all. While the house filled, the marimba band Voces de Selva played for an hour. The first play, El Árbol Misterioso (The Mysterious Tree) was performed by Tercero Básico (equivalent to sophomore year in high school). And the second, Ayer y Mañana (Yesterday and Tomorrow), was performed by Quinto Bachillerato (seniors in high school). We ended the night with a nervous energy converted into screams of joy, more marimba, coffee, and corn on the cob slathered in ketchup, mayonnaise, and hot sauce. Coming home at one in the morning, I was brimming with pride in the students and their accomplishment. I was worried the whole event would fall apart since we pulled the plays together only the week before, but on performance night the students rose to the occasion and I was pleasantly surprised.

El Árbol Misterioso
A rural community is faced with corrupt leaders who allow a mining company to cut down its enchanted forest. But a special, magical, mysterious tree can’t be cut down, and as they pound its trunk with their machetes its shadow grows larger and larger, before it begins to drop seeds. Accompanied by the sounds of a live flute in the background, the forest grows back stronger than ever. The shadows of the cardboard props bounce up and down and the audience giggles in delight. The humans try to destroy the forest again, this time with dynamite, and again one-by-one the arbolitos fall. Mother Nature exploded into bits and pieces. But in the morning the humans find that not only have the trees grown back, but the mysterious tree has overtaken their house when they wake alongside the birds, high above the land. The mining company abandons the project and the people are drawn towards the mysterious tree, trying to understand Mother Nature and its capabilities. They think that if they eat the fruit they too will have magical powers, and one by one they declare their dreams of building a house, creating a tree nursery, becoming a singer, and building a better community. But it turns out that the tree’s fruit didn’t have any magical powers: the play ends with the insightful voice of the tree explaining that the humans—just like the tree, the worms, potatoes, and everything else made by the creator—all have the same inexplicable energy and power infused in their souls. They just didn't realize it.


At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great job with the play. You must be feeling very happy with all that participated and helped make it such a success.

We do, however, like some of those mining companies up here in "investment world" ;-)


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Ian said...

too bad those mining companies disproportionately exploit the land and people of developing countries, filling their corporate coffers with money and ruining the region (by using up all the water, poisoning and destroying the land, etc.) for those who will live there in the future. but investors probably don't care about that, do they?

At 12:09 PM, Blogger gtoz said...

Can you please send the seeds from this tree home? I would love to plant a few int he neighborhood. Everywhere can use a few of these.

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fortunately for Ian, those "exploiting" mining companies produce the material that make up the components of the device he peroidically rests his fingers on and allows him to communicate his thoughtfulness.

I agree with many of Ian's points about the downside of mining; but I understand the necessity of it. I believe as time accumulates and we ALL better understand the consequences of our actions, things are improving for everyone. The truth is, disproportionate exploitation is and has always been a part of economic and social progress. The question comes around to "incentives" and the will to better one's standard of living. The trick, and it is a process, is to find a way to better one's standard of living while improving one's quality of life. I believe that we ALL are attempting to do both, albeit disproportionately at times.

So, let's not bury the PCs, but improve the processes together.


P.S. Mining companies are doing a lot to improve the areas in which they operate - more now than ever before. Admittedly, public pressure has been a benefit along this path.

P.P.S. Exploitation comes in many forms and exists everywhere, just look around. Does it not feed the spirit of creativity and ingenuity?



Post a Comment

<< Home