Most enjoyed by Grades 1-6
Showtimes variable by date.
Location: Herberger Theater Center - Stage West
Price: Price: $15 per person, Field Trip Plus: $18 per student
Runtime: 60 minutes, including talkback.
Tomás Rivera travels with his Amá, his Apá, his Grandfather, Papá Grande, and his little brother Enrique from Crystal City, Texas, all theway to Hampton, Iowa, to find work picking corn, spinach and beets.Tomás is haunted by memories of a teacher in his Texas school who punished him for speaking Spanish. His parents are worried about him,but reassure him that he is smart and talented, and that his PapáGrande thinks he will become a writer or a painter some day.
When the Riveras arrive in Iowa, they discover that their new home is little more than a chicken coop. But the family carries on, getting occasional treats like pan dulce, (sweet bread) and listening to Papá Grande’s stories.
One day Tomás’ Amá sends him to the post office,and he discovers the Carnegie Library next door. The Library Ladyinvites him in and introduces Tomás to books about anything andeverything he can possibly imagine. Tomás enthusiastically shares thenew stories that he has found with his family, and he and his brother Enrique find other books in the town dump.
Tomás teaches the Library Lady some Spanish, while he becomes more confident in English and realizes that he doesn’t need to be afraid of the Nightmare Teacher any longer. Then comes the day when Tomás comes to visit the library withhis Papá Grande and tells her that he must teach her a sad word in Spanish: Adiós.
Tomás Rivera grew up to become the father of Chicano literature, as well as the Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. The library there bears the name of the boy who was encouraged to readby a library lady in Iowa. Based on the true story of Tomás Rivera and the book by Pat Mora,this play is a celebration of reading, imagination and creativity.
Contact Sean Avery at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in Field Trip PLUS?
"Plus up" your field trip experience and extend your learning with interactive drama activities connected to the themes of the show! Want to learn more? Contact JGantwerker@childsplayaz.org.
Produced by special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois