FEBRUARY 26, 2014

Childsplay announces FREE event for families: El Puente Theatre Festival & Mask Procession

Sunday, March 9, 2014:  2 – 6 p.m.;  Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
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el puenteTEMPE – Childsplay and local artist Zarco Guerrero announce El Puente, Childsplay's first Theatre Festival and Mask Procession, happening at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) on Sunday, March 9 from 2 to 6 p.m.

This FREE event will feature an afternoon of family-friendly activities with food, music, mask making, face painting and more. The festival will feature dynamic performances and appearances from Primavera Folklorico Dance Co., The Phoenix Fridas, Axé Capoeira and other Valley performing artists and community groups. The first 200 attendees will also enjoy a FREE performance of Childsplay's The Cat in the Hat at 4 p.m.  

To conclude the festival, The Cat in the Hat (played by Childsplay Associate Artist Katie McFadzen) will lead a masked procession of kids, families and performers on the beautiful pedestrian bridge crossing Tempe Town Lake.

The festival is the first in a series of El Puente events aimed at reaching new audiences and broadening Childsplay's reach in the community. The events will be held in conjunction with Childsplay productions and are meant to deepen the audience's connection with the performance.

"The word 'Puente' literally means 'Bridge,'" explains Guerrero. "In every language the word 'Bridge' conjures up universal metaphors of transformation, enlightenment, freedom and even our passing into the afterlife. Here in the southwest the metaphor has special significance, as it represents the crossing of the Arizona-Mexican border, migration and the hope of a better life. In our Valley, we are blessed with the perfect locale to create a unique site-specific festival utilizing the bridge to bring this metaphor to life."

To kick start this year's festival, Guerrero has held mask making workshops in schools and community centers throughout The Valley, including Keller Elementary, Greenfield Elementary, Desert Sounds, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli, and Puente Arizona.

For more information, visit www.childsplayaz.org/puente