Teatro Paraguas presents two plays by EA ‘Tony’ Mares next month


Teatro Paraguas will present the one-act play Lola’s Last Dance, by the late Ernesto Antonio “Tony” Mares of Albuquerque, for seven performances beginning Friday, August 12, 2022. A staged reading of his long epic poem Astonishing Light – Conversations I Never Eu with Patrociño Barela will also be presented.

The production was supposed to air in August, but was canceled at that time due to Covid.

Inspired by several retired prostitutes Mares knew who lived in Old Town during her youth in the 1940s, Lola’s Last Dance was commissioned by La Companía de Teatro de Albuquerque and premiered in 1979. Lola, a retired prostitute from Old Town Albuquerque, has always lived life to the fullest. “I always needed to be free,” she says, “free to go out in the sun. Free to dance when I wanted and with whom I wanted.” Her dreams are now filled with many animated ghosts she recognizes from her glorious past, such as the Banker, the Senator, and the Rag-and-Bone Man. But there is a veiled figure she does not recognize…

Astonishing Light is a series of imaginary conversations between Tony Mares and

Patrociño Barela, famous self-taught woodcarver from New Mexico whose masterpieces captured national attention in the 1940s and 1950s. Tony and Pat discuss life, love, creating art and Pablo Neruda’s pink pigs of dawn in this lyrical and epic tribute.

Lola’s Last Dance is directed by Paola Vengoechea Martini, and the cast includes Corinna MacNeice, JoJo Sena de Tarnoff, Alex Streeper, Noah Simpson, Lynette Gonzales, Rudy “Froggy Fernandez, Desaili Gomez, Carlos de la Torre, and Argos Mac Callum.

Astonishing Light is directed by Argos Mac Callumand features Marcos Maez as Patrociño and Jonathan Harrell as Tony Mares.

Born in 1938 in Old Town Albuquerque, Ernesto Antonio “Tony” Mares was a poet, actor, playwright, historian, teacher, translator, and activist. After earning a doctorate in European history from UNM in 1973, Mares taught history, Spanish, creative writing, and American literature at Colorado College, the University of New Mexico, the University of Arkansas, University of the Highlands of New Mexico, University of North Texas, and elsewhere. He died on January 30, 2015.

His other plays include: Padre Antonio José Martinez de Taos (1983), El Corrido de Joaquin Murieta (1984), Santa Fe Spirit (1989) and Shepard de Pan Duro (1989).

His books include The Unicorn Poem & Flowers and Songs of Sorrow (West End Press 1992), With the Eyes of a Raptor (Wings Press 2004); and Almost All Music (translations of poems by Ángel González), (Wings Press, 2007). Río del Corazón, her latest book of poetry, was launched at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque on April 1, 2011.

Performances will take place October 13-23, 2022, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Please note that the performance on Saturday October 15 will be at 2 p.m. (not 7:30 p.m.). Tickets are $25 general admission and $12 limited income. Reservations can be made at 505-424-1601. Online tickets are available at teatroparaguasnm.org. Teatro Paraguas is located at 3205 Calle Marie in Santa Fe.

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