Lexington Children’s Theatre Presents Señora Tortuga
“Living in a country where diversity is the norm, I believe it is crucial that all children learn to embrace other cultures so we can understand each other better and learn tolerance and acceptance from an early age,” says Adahli Aranda, guest director of Señora Tortuga at Lexington Children’s Theatre. LCT is the proud recipient of a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support production, outreach, a guest director, and guest designer for their Spring 2015 production of Señora Tortuga, a bilingual play by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce about a young Latino boy's struggle with selflessness.
“I think it is very important for every child to understand others. As humans we might have different labels, skin colors, or complexions, but when you peel all those things off, we are all humans after all and we all share some of the same issues and struggles,” says Aranda.
Aranda, Mexico-born artist and Lexington resident, is the founder and director of the Bluegrass Youth Ballet. She has written and directed several original ballets, including her most popular work, Dia de los Muertos, which continues to sell out venues and exposes the community to an artistic and cultural glimpse of her native Mexico. “The Latino community is one of our biggest minorities in the US, and many Latino children were born in this country. These children should feel proud of their background and exposing them to folk stories is a way to mend the cultural gap!” says Aranda.
Additionally, LCT will work with Will Anglin, president of the Valley Park Activity Board, an organization that promotes character-building recreational activities in Valley Park to bring this production, as well as a theatre workshop, to this underserved area. Of the young people who attend school in this neighborhood, 71% are Latino and 50% speak English as a second language.
“I hope that the audience served has the opportunity of learning about other cultures. I hope to open a new door for them, a new perspective in life, their own and other's. I hope that they are left with an extra grain of tolerance and acceptance through enjoying the play and having fun with it,” adds Aranda. The elementary school in this neighborhood, Cardinal Valley Elementary, is a Title I school and 95% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch. LCT will present Señora Tortuga, free of charge, in Valley Park as well as providing a free theatre workshop in the hour before the performance.
"I'm pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Challenge America including the award to LCT. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.
The Challenge America category supports projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity,economics, or disability. The NEA received 347 eligible Challenge America applications and will award163 grants for a total of $1.63 million.
“I am very excited to be part of Señora Tortuga. I am thrilled to be able to share a little bit of my own culture with the young communities in Kentucky! This is such a great story, it's simple yet it has very complex social layers,” smiles Aranda.
Join LCT at Valley Park on May 3rd at 2pm for a theatre workshop and at 3pm for the performance of Señora Tortuga.
Recommended for ages 5 and up.
For more information call 859-254-4546 or visit http://lctonstage.org