Matthew Paul Olmos has already won the lottery of playwriting and is now ready to cash in on his winnings. Last year, in honor of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club's 50th season and the organization's late founder and artistic director, the first ever Ellen Stewart Award was given to Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning playwright Sam Shepard (True West). To pay proper homage to Stewart and the pioneering spirit she instilled in La MaMa, the award afforded Shepard the opportunity to select a young artist to create and present a new work at La MaMa. Olmos was selected to be this young artist, and his play so go the ghosts of Mexico, part one, to be the new work. Making its world premiere, performances will begin on April 11 with an official opening night set for April 14.
so go the ghosts of México, part one is the first of a three-play cycle in which Olmos explores the U.S./Mexico drug wars. This first installment takes place in an un-named Mexican border town where a 22-year-old woman volunteers to replace a beheaded police chief, a job that no one else wishes to claim. Olmos' play is inspired by the true story of Marisol Valles Garcia who made headlines as the "Bravest Woman in Mexico" when she stood up to dangerous drug cartels in her country. He evaluates the cost of courage as he re-imagines true events through a dark and irreverent lens.
Directed by Meiyin Wang, the cast of so go the ghosts of Mexico, part one features Laura Butler Rivera, Bernardo Cubria, Jose Joaquin Perez, Luis Moreno and Peter O'Connor. The creative team includes Jeanette Yew (Lighting Design), Nick Benacerraf (Set Design), and Elizabeth Rhodes (Sound Design).
Having premiered many of his own plays at La MaMa, Shepard is said to have sent Olmos the following message on the occasion of his debut: "Give him my blessing and good wishes."