Pima Community College Theatre Arts has opened its 2019-2020 season with a thought-provoking play for all ages, The Sun Serpent, by José Cruz González, directed by PCC voice and movement instructor Milta Ortiz. The bilingual play is the history of Mexico’s creation, with the coming of the Spanish conquistadores hungry for gold and their impact on the highly-sophisticated indigenous cultures.
The staging is, as always, well beyond what might be expected from a student production. Images projected on screens set the scenes and Etty Collins sets the narrative in both English and Spanish. Lilianna Espinoza, Jeff Stanton and Ana Dominguez carry the bulk of the action and dialogue flawlessly. Multiple roles are well-done by Emily Nickerson, Kaylee McClure, Saun ‘Rae Nez, Kyle Odell, Daniel Palm, Giselle Quintana, and Andrea Ashe. Zarco Guerrero’s masks keep the audience from getting confused.
PCC’s opening production is always geared towards school-age students and those performances played to packed houses in the Proscenium Theatre. The public performances have undeservedly low attendance, but The Sun Serpent is truly for all ages. And it’s just $8 for a ticket, available at the box office. Final performances are Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m. (with ASL interpreters), Saturday at 2 and 7, wrapping up on Sunday, October 6 at 2 p.m. All shows are at the Center for the Arts at Pima Community College’s West campus, off Anklam Road west of Silverbell.
Next up is Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery which is also a fast-paced comedy. November 7-17, Thursday – Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2 p.m. Black Box Theatre, $17 (there are student and senior discounts).
Their annual musical, which always rivals anything this reviewer has seen in San Francisco, New York or London, is Singin’ in the Rain, with live orchestra. February 20 – March 1, 2020; Thursday – Saturday at 7:30, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Proscenium Theatre, $24/$21/$18.
The season closer is Shakespeare’s As You Like It, April 16 – 26; Thursday – Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2 p.m. Black Box Theatre, $17.
This reviewer has seen a lot of good theatre over many years, and Tucson is blessed with a bunch of good companies. PCC’s Theatre Arts is as good as any of them, and a heck of lot less expensive than most. The student actors and technicians give us their heart and soul on a professional level. To order tickets on line, or for more information on Center for the Arts, www.pima.edu/cfa.