Imagine taking a business trip and getting arrested for the murder of someone you never met. That is the storyline of the University Theatre Productions' Mainstage performance of "The Clockmaker from Cordoba," which opens the 2010-2011-theatre season for UTPA on Oct. 6.
The surreal play set in 17th century Veracruz, was written by one of Mexico's most popular playwrights Emilio Carballido, who passed away in February 2008. The theatrical production focuses on a young clockmaker named Martin Gama, who while on a business trip is suddenly arrested and charged with robbery and murder of persons unknown.
The production runs at the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre on the campus Oct. 6-9, 8 p.m. and Oct. 10, 2 p.m.
Dr. Eric Wiley, associate professor for communication and director of Clockmaker, said the play appealed to him for many reasons.
"It addresses some very serious aspects of Mexican political culture in a buoyant and magical framework. It also resonates in surprising ways with the almost lawless situation in some parts of Mexico today. But while it is critical of the political culture of Mexico, it nonetheless serves up a comic vision of colonial Veracruz that bristles with vitality and charm," Wiley said.
Ultimately, Wiley said he wanted to share with the public "the colorful stage poetry and wry intelligence of Carballido's plays."
"His work is gaining recognition in the United States now and I think we will see more and more of his plays on stage," Wiley said.
Dr. Jack R. Stanley, director of drama at UTPA, said if you've never heard of this play - that is one good reason for you to come and check out the Clockmaker.
"A primary mission of an educational theatre is to bring to the public plays of great worth that may not be available to them commercially. This play, by one of contemporary Mexico's outstanding playwrights, was chosen for that reason. We try to bring audiences diversity, from great plays of ancient Greece to worthwhile new plays that may not be available in for-profit theatres," Stanley said.
For more information on the University Theatre, visit www.utpa.edu/theatre. For tickets and reservations, call the University Theatre Box Office at (956) 665-3581. The University Theatre Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.