New play moves a classic story to Mexico

March 24, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(WBEZ/Katie O'Brien)
Playwright Tanya Saracho and director Cecilie Keenan teamed up for 'El Nogalar' at the Goodman Theatre.

When playwright Tanya Saracho set out to adapt Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard she wound up writing a very personal story. El Nogalar - or The Pecan Orchard – takes place in a city on the southern side of the border between Mexico and the United States.

Saracho knows the area well. She draws from her family’s experiences in the region, which has become increasingly famous for its drug and gang violence. El Nogalar revolves around the return of ex-patriots to their ancestral land. But to quote another writer – you can’t go home again.

The play, which is a co-production with Teatro Vista, opens at the Goodman Theatre Saturday. Director Cecilie Keenan and Tanya Saracho joined Eight Forty-Eight to discuss the work.

Music Button: Calexico, "Maria Chuchena", from the CD Toolbox, (Our Soil, Our Strength)