Teatro Chirmol, a bilingual theater group at Eastern Mennonite University, will present a Christmas play, "Erase Una Vez, Maria y Jose," at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, in the mainstage theater of the University Commons at EMU.
The cast includes Harrisonburg High School students, EMU and JMU students and bilingual community members. The director is Sara Prince, a community member with theater experience.
"Erase Una Vez, Maria y Jose" or "Once Upon a Time: Mary and Joseph," is an original play based on a posada, a tradition in some Latin American countries of celebrating Christmas for nine days and nights. The play is a bilingual re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a welcoming place of birth for the baby Jesus.
Teatro Chirmol, in its fourth year, gets its name from a type of salsa (chirmol) that combines seemingly incongruent flavors to make a taste salsa that works well together. Participants come from several Latin American countries and range in age from 14 to 25.
The project, which originates in EMU’s Community Learning Center, seeks to give authentic voice to the local Latino community, integrate Latino youth with university students and provide community education about the assets and challenges of living biculturally in the Shenandoah Valley.
Traditional Latino food will be served prior to Saturday’s performance and immediately following the Sunday show.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $2.50 for students and children at the door.