Flowers Behind the Mountain, A play by Barbara Bennion

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

CONTACT: Christ Episcopal Church & San Marcos at 914-631-2074

 Flowers Behind the Mountain

A staged reading of the powerful, prize-winning play followed by a Q & A panel discussion

                                    This reading is FREE (suggested donation $20)

 On Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 4pm, a staged reading  of Flowers Behind the Mountain, Barbara Bennion’s award-winning play about Latino immigration, will be held at Temple Beth Abraham, 25 Leroy Ave., Tarrytown, NY. Presented by Christ Episcopal Church & San Marcos, Temple Beth Abraham and Abbott House in Irvington, NY, proceeds from the reading will be shared between Abbott House (www.abbotthouse.net) whose work helps human beings recover from deep trauma, and Cristosal (www.cristosal.org), whose work advances human rights in Central America.

Artwork by local refugee children from Central America will be featured at this event.

Flowers Behind the Mountain is inspired by real stories told by Latino immigrants. It consists of monologue, dialogue, choral speech, poetry, and music. In a timeline that stretches from the mid-1980’s to the present, five immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, and Chile, share their experiences of crossing the border to El Norte in search of a better life. This play won the 2012 Mario Fratti-Fred Neuman Political Play Contest where it had a staged reading at Castillo Theatre in NYC. Other readings were held at the CCNY Conference on Immigration and Education, and at Christ Church & San Marcos in Tarrytown.

When asked about the origin of the play, Ms. Bennion says that it began more than fifteen years ago when a former Mexican Marine told her his story of fleeing across the Mexican/U.S. border in search of a better life. She was impressed with his forthrightness and thought his story needed to be heard.  She began interviewing Latino taxi drivers, workers, and neighbors until she had a collection of stories about their journeys.   What was first a series of monologues became the inspiration for Flowers Behind The Mountain.

Teresa Yenque (Isabel) ) An emigrant from Peru, Ms.Yenque made her Broadway debut in A Streetcar Named Desire with Natasha Richardson. She has just completed a successful run of Como Agua para Chocolate at the GALA Theater in Washington DC, and Zoe Kazan’s After the Blast at the Lincoln Center. Currently,Teresa may be seen at Repertorio Español in The House of Bernarda Alba, as well as on TV shows and films. Mother and son, Teresa and Jose Yenque, have appeared together on TV in The Division and the film The Blue Diner.  Among her prestigious awards are the ACE and HOLA.

Jose Yenque (David)  born in Brooklyn, NY. has over a decade of experience as a professional actor and devoted humanitarian, which earned him an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from California State University San Marcos. He is founder of Arts for a Better Tomorrow (ABT), a trans-border non-profit that positively impacts the lives of underprivileged youth on both side of the US Mexico border. Yenque’s film credits include Steven Soderberg’s  Academy Award winning Traffic, and Beginners. He has been recognized by organizations including SAG and NCLR (Alma Award).

Pablo Andrade (Pepe) Venezuelan-born actor, arrived in U.S. in 2011, having first worked for years with Venezuelan theater companies. He is founder and artistic director of Corezon Theatre and on the Faculty Artistic Council of HB Studio in NY. He has been associated with Repertorio Espanol, The Tectonic Theatre Project, Intar, The Public, and many other companies. As both director and actor, he is the recipient of awards including ACE, HOLA, ATI and FUERZA.

Barbara Bonilla, (Maria) a proud Cuban-American has four decades of stage, film, and television credits in NY, DC, and LA.  Off Broadway and regional theatre shows include You’ve Got Hate Mail, Kosher Franks. Real Women Have Curves, Lost in Yonkers. TV/Film include The Manchurian Candidate, Law and Order, and Ugly Betty.

Patrick Michael Valle, (Carlos) is a native of Mexico City, and has been in productions of The Man of La Mancha, Temple of Souls, Kiss Me Kate, Cabaret, and Oklahoma. Among his films are Famous Land and Sasha. He is both an actor and producer.  Patrick holds a B.A. in Engineering from Stanford University.

Santiago Marocho (musician) has been playing guitar since he was eleven years old. In Ecuador he studied at Conservatorio de Musica de Cuenca. Presently, he performs at private parties  throughout the Greater New York Area.

Barbara Bennion (playwright) lives in Tarrytown, N.Y Her most recent short play, Two in a Bag was produced at the NY Winterfest Festival in 2019. Battleground, was produced at the 2017 Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC. Three full-length plays: Progeny, Tornado, and Equations, have had readings in Boston and New York. A former dancer and choreographer, she performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She is a member of Dramatists Guild, The Main Street Playwrights, and Westchester Collaborative Theater.

Howard Lipson (director) has worn many theatrical hats, including: producer, director teacher, actor, and playwright. He founded theater companies in Philadelphia and NYC, and his plays have been performed nationwide. Currently he is a member of The Main Street Playwrights, Westchester Collaborative Theater, and The Dramatists Guild. Howard has written and directed over 150 short plays based on scripture and performed as liturgy monthly for 20 years at Christ Church, Tarrytown , NY

“By seeing this play, one can get a good degree closer to both the experience of coming to the USA and becoming a new immigrant, without having to actually live through it. Thank you for this powerful experience. “ -James Kaufman LCSW-R President and CEO Abbott House

For press inquiries, contact Christ Episcopal Church & San Marcos at 914-631-2074.

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