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PCC’s Center for the Arts presents a rendition of “Popol Vuh”

By KATELYN ROBERTS

Pima Community College’s Center for the Arts will present “Popol Vuh: The Story of Seven Macaw,” a retelling of the Mayan creation myth.

“Popol Vuh,” created by Kinan and Lakin Valdez for El Teatro Campesino, a theater group founded in 1965, and directed by Marc David Pinate, uses “large-scale puppetry, music, ritual dance and pageantry,” according to a press release.

“Popol Vuh” will show at the Black Box Theatre at West Campus Nov. 9-19. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $18 with discounts for students, seniors, military and PCC employees.

In the play, the protagonists, a pair of Mayan hero twins, are “summoned by the creators of the world to deal with the false and corrupt Seven Macaw, who holds dominion over the Earth,” according to a press release. The twins use art, stealth and trickery to overpower a corrupt ruler. According to the press release, the story is symbolic of today’s culture and politics.

The words “Popul Vuh” mean “council book,” and the scholar-like figures, along with the scientists and astronomers of ancient Maya encoded their understanding of the world and its natural patterns like calendars and maps into mythological stories, which became the “Popul Vuh.”

Mayan sages would use the council book to make decisions in times of need. According to the press release, their concept of time was cyclical instead of linear, which helped them predict how events would turn out, so “it is no surprise that the story of Seven Macaw, with its allusions to climate change, empty leadership and a populace pitted against itself should ring so familiar to us today.”

“Interpreted through El Teatro Campesino’s popular theater form of physicality and spectacle, the play succeeds in captivating audiences of all ages and backgrounds while still relaying a deep thematic message — a vital meditation on the need to excise the false gods which plague us today,” Director Marc David Pinate said in a press release. “I speak metaphorically of ideologies of nationalism, xenophobia, racism, denial of climate change and the devastation of Mother Earth.”

The box office is open from noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and one hour before each performance. Call 206-6986 or email centerforthearts@pima.edu for more information.

Photos by NICHOLAS TRUJILLO, Magic Twins Leticia Gonzalez and Muriel Lloyd with narrator Clarrissa Rodriguez.

Photos by NICHOLAS TRUJILLO, Seven Macaw Pablo Perez admires his jewels

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