Written and performed by Gonzalo Venecia, Under El Gran Mesquite is a collection of true stories about the joys and challenges of a migrant childhood steeped in Latino roots and American Top 40. In the midst of his family's seasonal migrations across the United States, Mr. Venecia returns to the mesquite tree behind his grandparents' South Texas home. In its shade, he finds all that enables him to take root in a land where nothing should grow.
As a fortieth birthday present to himself, Mr. Venecia spent forty days in the wilderness of Kauai reflecting on his life. There, he jotted down his memories, journaling one year each day with an archive of Top 40 songs as his muse. Upon his return, he shared his autobiographical collection with Heidi Rose Robbins (the show's director), who challenged him to explore his writing in performance. A developmental production of fifteen stories premiered at Theatre/Theater in the Spring of 2005. Since then, Mr. Venecia has continued to write and refine his work for the current production.
Contains mature subject matter.