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I Kissed Chavela Vargas Reading

I Kissed Chavela Vargas Reading

Thursday May 2, 2019 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Critically acclaimed queer Chicana playwright and performer Monica Palacios, will have a reading of her play: I Kissed Chavela Vargas, a memory play with music that revolves around three generations of Chicanas. In this new work, Palacios uses memory and music to explore the relationships between three generations of Chicanas. Mother, daughter and granddaughter struggle with their relationships with one another and with life. They sing, they dance, they fight, and ultimately, they find love. I Kissed Chavela Vargas poses questions performing, aging, healing, female sexuality, and grace.

Talk back and reception to follow. This performance is free and open to all.

This evening is being supported by MassHumanities and Holyoke Community College.

Patricia Sandoval, Chair of Communication, Media, and Theater Arts, Holyoke Community College, will direct a cast of local Latinas including Jocelyn Lopez, Julissa Colón, Jenny Gutiérrez, and Nathalie Vicencio. Vocalist and educator Dr. Diana Alvarez will serve as the musical director. After the reading, dramaturg Dr. Priscilla Page will lead a short conversation with the playwright and cast.

Palacios is the Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College this spring. She is the first queer Chicana artist to be selected for this prestigious position. During the residency, Palacios is teaching her course Comedy y Cultura: Your Humorous Life; presenting guest lectures at area colleges; serving as a mentor to student writers and performers; and contributing to the intellectual and artistic life at Smith. The staged reading of I Kissed Chavela Vargas has come together because of the connections Palacios has made in her short time here.

Throughout her career, Monica has been a trailblazer. She was one of the first out Chicana lesbian comics to hit the stage in the early 1980s in San Francisco, talking about nationality and sexuality in one breath. Eventually, Palacios made her way to Los Angeles, continuing her groundbreaking work by creating solo shows, plays, screenplays, short stories, stand-up comedy, poems, featuring the Latinx LGBTQ experience. She is featured in the new queer documentary: Stand Up, Stand Out by director David Pavlosky. Her recent publications include: Scenes For Latinx Actors: Voices of The New American Theatre by Smith and Kraus Publishers 2019; Jota Anthology by Korima Press 2019; Practicing Transgressions by Third Woman Press 2019; Pulse/Pulso – In Remembrance of Orlando by Damaged Goods Press 2018; Game Changers: Lesbians You Should Know About by Robin Lowey Press 2017 and IMANIMAN: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands by Aunt Lute Press 2016.

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