About the Grant

$35,000 to support Ghosts of the River (MAP 2008), a multidisciplinary shadow theatre work created in collaboration with Artistic Director/shadow master Larry Reed, award-winning playwright Octavio Solis and acclaimed printmaker/Latino community activist, Favianna Rodriguez. The work explores the contentious US/Mexican border immigration issues from highly localized and personal points of view. Ghosts of the River is performed in English and Spanish, and premieres in San Jose and San Francisco in October-November 2009.

About the Project

Ghosts of the River marks ShadowLight’s second collaboration with Octavio Solis after the highly acclaimed 7 Visions of Encarnacion in 2002. The project is inspired by his personal experience growing up in El Paso, Texas, and recent extensive interviews with residents, immigrants (legal or otherwise), law enforcement officers and immigration lawyers in the city. In 6 short Twilight Zone like vignettes, Ghosts of the River brings shadowy figures and memories of Solis’ past to life. Ghosts of the River is designed by Rodriguez, who adds a completely new and dynamic look to a ShadowLight show. Her vision is translated into magical shadow forms through the company’s shadow casting method, which utilizes shadow puppets and live actors with original three-quarter profile masks, woven together in a mystical landscape with live montage projected onto a cinemascope size screen. In this project, ShadowLight experiments with the use of video projection, which is seamlessly integrated into the “low-tech” world of projected shadows, to give a strong sense of place, time and atmosphere. The visual elements are enhanced by the live Mexican Norteño music and the soundtrack of the El Paso streets and natural sounds as well as voices from the interviews recorded during Solis’ research trip in El Paso in May 2007.

Related Websites

ShadowLight Productions


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