Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or cdevlin6@gmu.edu

MEXICAN AMERICAN FAMILY CELEBRATED:BY THE HAND OF THE FATHER

September 30, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES ABOUT PRODUCTIONS
PERFORMANCE OF
BY THE HAND OF THE FATHER
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 8:00 P.M.
MULTIMEDIA THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE FEATURES THE HAUNTINGTLY BEAUTIFUL WORDS AND MUSIC OF
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO


Fairfax, Virginia, September 29, 2004—By the Hand of the Father is a multidisciplinary work that traces the lives of men of Mexican heritage born early in the twentieth century. Telling their stories through nine separate vignettes acted out and accompanied by live music, it is a reflection through personal stories of America’s immigrant history. Inspired by a song cycle by Alejandro Escovedo, who helped create the piece, By the Hand of the Father is written by Theresa Chavez, Eric Gutierrez and Rose Portillo, and produced by the award-winning Los Angeles-based theater company, About Productions. The show comes to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts for one performance only on Monday, October 25 at 8PM. An artistic discussion is held 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Of Escovedo’s music, The New Yorker said, "The carefully honed pieces, decorated with accordion and string arrangements, take listeners on a journey through the heart-wrenching experience of the immigrant. And jubilant, rhythmic songs such as "Mexico Americano" are suffused with joy." By the Hand of the Father, an emotional piece of musical and multimedia theater, premiered in June 2002, at the Margo Albert Theatre at Plaza de la Raza in Los Angeles and was featured in the 2002-03 Season of the long-running PBS show "Austin City Limits," marking the first time the acclaimed music show presented a theatrical work.

Alejandro Escovedo, who didn’t begin playing guitar until age 24 and writing music until age 30, has had an eclectic resume. With the release of his first solo album, 1992’s "Gravity," which Richard Harrington, writing in The Washington Post called "a distinctive meld of chamber-music strings, folk-rock rhythms, Velvet Underground rock and Tex-Mex traditions," he secured a place for himself among the giants of roots-oriented singer-songwriters. From a musical family (his brothers are among the most important salsa and Latin jazz musicians of their generation and his niece, Sheila E, stands as one of the great funk/rock drummers) Escovedo had a hand in the musical evolution of Los Lonely Boys, and toured early on with Los Lobos.

By the Hand of the Father explores the intersection of two generations’ historical, cultural, national and spiritual identity. The work’s text, lyrics and images depict the lives of the creators’ real fathers, men whose cultural identity has straddled Mexico and the United States for generations. This emotional piece, combining visual arts, theater and music, is built from historic resources available to the collaborators: family lore, interviews, home movies, photographs and more. Its distinctive structure, with a narrative tracing men and families who "have a foot in each century and a foot in each country…" breathes life into these bittersweet tales of familial love and loyalty.

Tickets for By the Hand of the Father are $34, $26, $17. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.