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Home | Tag Archives: viva! el paso

Tag Archives: viva! el paso

Story in Many Pics: Viva! El Paso returns to the stage this Weekend

As the cast and crew for Viva! El Paso prepare for the show’s 42nd season, we were given a preview of the colorful, musical history lesson.

The summer tradition brings four centuries of local history to colorful life through song, dance and drama.

Originally created by Hector Serrano, it has been updated by fourth-year director Keith Townsend and Tony Award-winning playwright Marty Martin. It features songs by El Paso rocker Jim Ward and music director Cody Ritchey, and choreography by Jaime Carrasco, Roberta Valdiviez and Henry Del Toro.

Viva! returns to McKelligon Canyon at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, June 14 through July 27. The June 29 and the July 19 -20 performances will be in Spanish.  For full info on tickets and more, click here.

Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there on Wednesday night as all prepared for the season, and we bring you his view of the show in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

“Viva! El Paso” tickets on sale; First show set for June 14

Tickets are on sale now for Viva! El Paso, which returns to the beautiful McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre for the 42nd season.

The show, created by Hector Serrano, details 400 years of the El Paso area’s history in song, dance and dramatizations. Keith W. Townsend returns for his fourth year as artistic director.

Viva! El Paso is produced in a partnership between the El Paso Community Foundation and El Paso Live.

The performances are Fridays and Saturdays, June 14-July 27, at 8 p.m.  The June 29 and July 19-20 shows will be performed in Spanish.

Tickets for opening weekend, June 14-15, are $10. Tickets for all other shows are $24 for adults, and $16 for children ages 2-12, seniors 65 and older and military with a valid ID.

Tickets are on sale at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and online. (service fees apply to online sales).

Viva! El Paso Tryouts Set for Saturday

Ahead of the production’s 2019 Season, officials with Viva! El Paso have announced open auditions for singers, actors and dancers, and interviews for technical crew.

The tryouts and interviews are set for Saturday, March 9 at the Abraham Chavez Theatre, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with check-in starting at 8 a.m.

There is no fee to audition, and those attending should bring bottled water and a snack or lunch.  Auditions are open to performers living in the El Paso area.

“Those auditioning for performing roles need to bring a photo ID, Social Security card, photo ID, a portrait-style headshot, and a resume of past performance and production work, including school information and work history,” Viva officials shared. “All performers must be 16 years of age or older; children auditioning for Viva Kids (ages 10 to 15) must attend the auditions.”

Officials add, “Performers and technical support crew will be paid a stipend.”

Performer requirements are:

• Actors — Prepare a 90-second monologue of their choice.

• Singers — Prepare a song and bring music (sheet music, flash drive, cellphone). Accompaniment will be provided.

• Dancers — Wear comfortable or dance clothes and shoes; choreography will be taught at the audition.

For more information, call 915-637-4029.

Performances for the 42nd season of Viva! El Paso, directed by Keith W. Townsend, will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, June 14 through July 27 at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Ticket information will be announced soon.

Viva! El Paso is a presentation of the El Paso Community Foundation, El Paso Live and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

Students Lead EPCC Partnership with VIVA! El Paso

For almost 50 years, El Paso Community College (EPCC) has played a significant role in the culture and lifestyle of El Paso. Since 2016 this has not been truer than the partnership forged with the El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) to produce VIVA! El Paso.

Now celebrating its 40th year in production, VIVA! has become a summertime theatrical staple for visitors to the southwest and residents alike. Through theater, song and dance, VIVA! shares the complex history and makeup of the area.

“El Paso is the multi-cultural capital of the world,” said Keith Townsend, EPCC Instructor and VIVA! El Paso Artistic Director, “VIVA! shows that we do not divide.”

The most important aspect of EPCC’s involvement in VIVA! is the participation of its students.

The EPCC Theater program has a long history in educating young actors in all areas of bringing a theater production to life. A great example is Erick Canales. He is the lead male role in this year’s production, coming back as different characters through El Paso’s history.

An EPCC Theater major, Canales said it’s fun being someone else. Theater is in his blood; he plans to become a professional actor and then proceed into directing and teaching.

Canales knew VIVA! was for him when he heard Keith Townsend was directing. “Keith is always there for the students,” said Canales. “He is there when they have doubts, telling them that they can do it.”

The EPCC Theater program impacts all students who have attended EPCC. The want to come back always exists. EPCC and Western Kentucky University graduate, Camille Acosta returns to VIVA! for a second year.

In this year’s production she narrates segments of the play as the Spirit of Earth. Acosta enjoys working on VIVA! “it has created a new pipeline for El Paso actors,” she said. Acosta plans to try her acting skills in New York and Los Angeles. She sees herself as a teacher someday.

Acosta has fond memories of her days at EPCC.

“Since the age of 15, I performed in Keith Townsend’s productions at EPCC. All the teachers care so much for you; they want you to succeed.”

When you mention theater in El Paso, the name of Keith Townsend is sure to follow. Through VIVA! and all his productions, Townsend encourages his students to give back to the audience, to the community. He chose to make El Paso his home and has spread theater throughout local high schools and EPCC.

He jumped at the chance to lead VIVA! El Paso when the opportunity arose from the EPCC and El Paso Community Foundation partnership. “The Foundation understands the performing arts,” Townsend said. “The promotion team at El Paso Live put students into a learning opportunity at every aspect of the theater production.”

VIVA! El Paso, now in its 40 th year, will light up McKelligon Canyon Fridays and Saturdays through July 29th. Remembering its multi-cultural heritage, two performances on July 21 st and 22 nd will be presented in Spanish.

The strength of the production can be seen in its makeup; many are former El Pasoans who have returned after reaching fame in the world of entertainment. Playwright Marty Martin went on to Broadway with much success, but now finds joy in the work he has done with the new VIVA! El Paso.

Cody Ritchie, Musical Director, has worked in El Paso theater for decades. He has partnered with Keith Townsend on many EPCC productions.

Famed Rock musician, Jim Ward has lent his hand in the musical score of the play. Ward is nationally known through his work with the bands Sparta and At The Drive In.

Dance is a very important part of this year’s VIVA! because of the work of Choreographer, Jaime Carrasco.

Through 400 years, 390 costumes and more than 100 participants, VIVA! El Paso shows the Borderland at its best. EPCC creates a college-going culture by engaging students inside and outside of the classroom. VIVA! El Paso is just one example of EPCC’s commitment to strengthen its partnership with the community.


EPCC Partners with Community Foundation for Viva! El Paso

El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) have partnered to present Viva! El Paso for the 2016 Season. Production will be directed by EPCC Theater Artistic Director and Professor, Keith Townsend.

Viva! El Paso will run Friday and Saturday nights from June 17 through August 6. There will also be two Sunday evening shows, July 3 and August 7. All shows are at the McKelligon Amphitheater starting 8:30 pm each night.

This year’s show will feature a new script written by award winning playwright Marty Martin, some new music and arrangements by Jim Ward (of Sparta and At TheDrive In) and Cody Ritchey (Fungi Mungle) to coordinate with the Viva time tested audience favorite high energy dancing that has made Viva so loved and well known.

This year’s choreographic team will be led by Pam Turley and the Folklorico dances will be directed by Jaime Carrasco. Rounding out the directing team is Sally Davis who will serve as the vocal director with Anji Morgan-Thornton and Rene Castaneda directing the Mariachis.

There will be a new scenic design concept by Townsend used this year, with the creative construction being headed up by Technical Directors David Paz and Andrew Duran, along with Viva Stage Manager Angelo Madrigal and VIVA Company Coordinator Sean Diaz.

For more information on Viva! El Paso, press only may contact Keith Townsend at (915) 637-4029.

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