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Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences

Overview

In today's multicultural world there is an urgent need for more plays and books that represent a diverse array of ethnic groups. Theatre and book critics, scholars, and theatre professionals have long campaigned for a broader representation of minorities in book and play publishing.

In this anthology, renowned theatre expert Coleman A. Jennings has compiled a selection of plays by José Cruz González that meets these multicultural demands head-on. González is a foremost voice in ...

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Overview

In today's multicultural world there is an urgent need for more plays and books that represent a diverse array of ethnic groups. Theatre and book critics, scholars, and theatre professionals have long campaigned for a broader representation of minorities in book and play publishing.

In this anthology, renowned theatre expert Coleman A. Jennings has compiled a selection of plays by José Cruz González that meets these multicultural demands head-on. González is a foremost voice in theatre for children and youth whose plays address themes, often through imaginary lands and extraordinary characters, faced by children in their everyday lives.

Born to migrant workers in Calexico, California, in 1957, González learned at a young age how to tap into the vast world of his imagination. From his grandfather, who would regale the family with stories and riddles as they worked on the farm, he learned the power of storytelling. He spent afternoons, weekends, and summers working in the fields, so it is no surprise that his plays are strongly tied to the natural world. His use of magical realism has become one of his trademarks.

The nine plays in this anthology were thoughtfully collected and will go far to fill the multicultural gap in the world of theatre for children.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
I love reading plays because my mother had us read and act out plays when my siblings and I were young. We read Shakespeare and Ibsen and many others, so I enjoyed reading the plays in this book. They are magical and mind stretching. Although most of the main characters appear to be about eight to ten years old, the themes and lessons tend to be for older children. Still, I think children as young as eight will enjoy them. The plays are: "The Magic Rainforest—An Amazon Journey," "Two Donuts," "Marisol's Christmas," "Tomas and the Library Lady," "Watermelon Kisses," "Old Jake's Skirts," "Lily Plants a Garden," "Salt and Pepper," and "The Highest Heaven." In addition to the plays, the book has a biography of Mr. Gonzalez and explanations of the plays, which I found quite interesting. The set designer—J. Richard Smith—included information, along with drawings, explaining why he designed the sets he did for each play. Literature and drama teachers will be happy to have this book in their collections. There is a glossary of Spanish words at the back of the book. This is Book 19 in the "Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series." Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292718555
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Louann Atkins Temple Women and Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Biography
Bibliography of Plays
Collaborative Creation: Responses from Corey Madden, David Saar, J. Richard Smith, and Graham Whitehead
The Playwriting of José Cruz González by Susan Vaneta Mason
Considering the Design Process
The Plays
The Magic Rainforest--An Amazon Journey
Two Donuts
Marisol's Christmas
Tomás and the Library Lady
Watermelon Kisses
Old Jake's Skirts
Lily Plants a Garden
Salt & Pepper
The Highest Heaven
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