Teatro Milagro’s virtual touring begins this month with two bilingual plays, and both are presented free.

Blast Off, about Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina Astronaut (spotlighted in these pages last month), will be presented by Consejo Hispano of Astoria for Hispanic Heritage Month, Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 pm. After the play will be a Bilingual Talk-Back with the cast.

Huinca, about the Chilean Mapuche, is presented Thursday, October 15, 12:30 pm by Peninsula College in Port Angeles and sponsored locally by Friends of Trees, a non-profit planting hundreds of trees every year with the help of volunteers (friendsoftrees.org).

In Huinca, Manuel Huillipan, the Mapuche Longko of the Lof Rankilko community has been wrongfully jailed and accused of setting fire to land illegally purchased by the Arauco Forestal logging company.

Millaray Cayancura, the Machi healer of the community, has tried prayers and offerings to her spirit guides and then implores the help of a Huinca lawyer. She recruits Javiera Quintana, daughter of a Chilean exile, who has returned to help support the fight of the Mapuche.

Javiera meets her match in Karl Carver, Arauco Forestal’s corporate lawyer, who stops at nothing to keep Manuel in jail to ensure the logging goes unchallenged. A chorus of ancient Araucaria trees connect the past with the present to ensure the survival of the land, the trees and the Mapuche’s future.

Hunica’s author, Marilo Nuñez, is a Canadian-Chilean playwright who traveled to Chile in June 2019 and met with Mapuche leaders and families. She was welcomed into their homes as they taught and exposed her to their culture and land. Nuñez wrote the play for them, to tell their stories and spread word of their struggle to preserve their land and autonomy.

Milagro’s presentation of Huinca has been adapted for Zoom Theatre and exposes audiences to the history of the Mapuche and the indigenous people’s unique relationship to their land. The play frames the Mapuche’s struggle in a global context, relating their conflict to other indigenous’ groups efforts to preserve their native land in a struggle against global industrialization and colonialism. The performance will followed by a live talkback with the cast. See milagro.org for more.

Hunica photo by Liana Rose