Blacklight Myths

Put your students on stage, in a spectacular blacklight mythic production! In a 2 to 5 day residency, Magical Rain Theaterworks can train a group of students to create a performance of a myth from Mexico/ Central America. During this training, the students become a theater ensemble, able to improvise, respond quickly to one another, maintain focus and remember complex instructions and cues. Ultimately, the goal is to create a vehicle that showcases the benefit of hard, collaborative , creative work.. Joy. Mutual respect. Competence.

We have done student ensemble productions with a variety of different group sizes (from 10 students to 300 students). For a 2 - 5 day residency, a group of between 10 and 75 students would work best. Residencies can sometimes include student art workshops - making the "glow in the dark" props and masks. The end result is a theater performance with the students on the stage doing the group movements, sounds and manipulation of the blacklight costumes/props/puppets, in synch with the telling of the story by Magical Rain Theaterworks. Seeing the spectacle and story come alive is a wonderful reward for all involved.

There are three Meso-American myths that Magical Rain Theaterworks uses to create the blacklight productions:

The Creation of the First People
Inspired by a part of the Mayan myth of creation (the Popol Vuh), in which the gods attempt to create people, at first from mud (the mud people), then from sticks (the stick people). These experiments go wrong (the people have no backbone, or have no heart) and so the gods try once again….

The Journey to the Fifth World
Inspired by an Aztec creation myth. In the First World, the people remember their instructions (to live with honesty, kindness, sharing and respect), but then they forget (and turn to lying, fighting, stealing and disrespecting each other). The gods find once good couple, who are saved when the earth is destroyed, and who help form the Second World…

When the World Had No Colors

Inspired by an Aztec myth. The world is gray and lifeless, with no colors or music. The Sun holds the Musicians of the Sun (blue, red, yellow and green) as prisoners in the sky. The Lord of the Night sees that the people of the Earth are joyless, without music, dancing or laughter. And so he decides that something must be done to take the Musicians from the Sun, and bring them down to the Earth….

Students will learn about the Mesoamerican ways of life within which these myths emerged and their impact on contemporary life in the Americas. This instruction will give cross-cultural understanding and depth to their interpretation of the story.

  "As instructors for our Faces and Masks program, both Dan and Irene have assisted students for three years in putting together spectacular performances based on Hispanic mythology. The young participants have enjoyed the workshops and the applause they have received after their shows. It is due to their dedication, creativity and talent that our program has been so successful and has received the support of so many in our community." - Christina Holmes, Executive Director, Hispanic American Council

"It was marvelous to see an entire school, pre-kindergarten through twelfth, participate in the performance, lighting, costume making, prop making and film production. You’ve also given the students a sense of direction to experience their own natural talents. With the massive number of students participating in the production of 'The Fifth World', it was an enormous success." - Teresa Lamarr, Coordinator/Principal, Burton Elementary Summer Migrant Program  

Student Responses:

"I liked when we did mud people too because they looked watery, beautiful. Also, I liked when we put our hands up, because I felt like I was flying, and also because I passed by my teacher and every teacher, the children in my class and in other classes… I like working with you three a lot. Thank you Dr. Vasquez, Benito and Dan." - Brenda

"Thank you for coming and showing the play/ dance to us. I really enjoyed it a lot. I really liked the blacklight and the gods. It is good for us to learn about what happened long ago. To see how the people lived, worked, played, and how they respected each other (for a while). I enjoyed the story and the music. It brought more feeling to it all. Your audience - " Alaine

"Me gusto lo que hice. La luz la movia para todas partes. Yo me sentia como un angel con el vestido blanco y me gusto todo y me sentia muy contenta de todo lo que hice yo.
(I liked what I did. The light moved all over the place. I felt like an angel in my white dress and I liked everything and I felt content with everything I did)." Beatriz

Fees: $1000 - $3,000(depending on the number of days)