“La Maleta (The Suitcase)” Begins Touring

This Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated play is on the road again! From November 4 2019, we are taking our cast and crew out to schools across Ontario!

Learn more and book today: http://roseneath.ca/2019-2020-season/la-maleta1920/ or contact education@roseneath.ca for availability in your area.

Nominated for the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (TYA) – Beatriz Pizano

Nominated for the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance – Ensemble (TYA)

Art by Claudia Davila

History of this play:

La Maleta (The Suitcase) was developed over 2012 – 2013 at Roseneath Theatre thanks to a playwright-in-residence grant for Beatriz Pizano from the Ontario Arts Council. Roseneath Theatre was able to showcase “La Maleta (The Suitcase)”, at APAP and International Performing Arts for Youth conferences in New York and Pittsburgh in January, 2014 and toured the show in Canada and the US for the following two seasons.

“This kind of emotionally difficult storyline isn’t usual in theatre for young audiences… it touches on serious material with a lightness grounded in the power of the imagination.”      

– Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine

Our goal with this piece has been to create an accessible story that follows a young refugee’s journey to North America. La Maleta (The Suitcase) is told through the eyes of 10-year old Roca who must leave her Grandmother and flee her native Colombia to a place of safety.

“That was MY story!”

– Student from Bangladesh
From the 2014 production.
Cast: Jessica Zepeda, Joseph Recinos, Alejandra Simmons, Anita LaSelva
Photo By: Mark Seow

Incorporating both Spanish and English, this production really engages students’ imaginations. They gain insight into what a new student joining their class, who doesn’t speak their language, might be feeling and thinking. As many refugees come to North America looking for a safer place to begin a new life, we feel this production plays a strong role in creating dialogue, understanding and empathy.

“I loved this play and felt that it fit into the environment of social justice, inclusivity and character education that I am trying to create in my class.” 

– Elementary School Teacher

As with many young children, Roca has developed an imaginary friend who is a Kogi Girl (the Kogi are an indigenous people of Colombia). The Kogi Girl helps her to make the transition to life in Canada. This important character is created through movement and without sound, adding another layer of insight into what is happening in Roca’s mind. Ultimately it is Roca’s new friendship with Paz, a boy in her class that begins to help her unpack her situation and truly discover her new home. With the power of their imaginations they go on an adventure inside the suitcase which leads to important realizations about themselves.

Thank you very much for allowing us to share this special production with your students.

Enjoy the journey!

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