‘Radio Plays in the Time of Corona’ starts Friday

MARFA — Marfa Live Arts in association with KMKB presents Radio Plays in the Time of Corona, four radio plays written by award-winning Marfa High School playwrights and professionally produced, scored and brought to life by actors. The plays are: No Compass by Aubrie Aguilar; It’s Not Always Sunshine and Rainbows at Coneset Hill by Febi Brimhall; Friend or Foe: Legend of the Hellhound by Devin Meierhoff; and Rona by Avery Beltran.

Diana Burbano, a former Marfa Live Arts playwright, shared her thoughts on Marfa’s youth and the opportunity the Playwriting Program, in its tenth year at MISD, provides them, saying, “These kids are imaginative, brave and so willing to jump in, when they feel they are being SEEN and HEARD. The program offers them an opportunity to become collaborators on theatre projects, to lead their own vision, to write in any way they want to write. That’s powerful.” Burbano is the lead in Avery Beltran’s play Rona, a dark comedy about the pandemic. She states, “It’s so important to honor what these Marfa teens are really feeling in this weird and unstable time. The way they process what they are hearing is an insight into what they need. Rona tackles the subject with dark humor that becomes a window into what adults are projecting.”

“I want my play to make others think,” young playwright Febi Brimhall says about her play It’s Not Always Sunshine and Rainbows at Coneset Hill. She continues, “It’s about some of the pressures that society has for people to be a certain way and how that can affect people. I have seen some close friends deal with that and I just thought it’d be great to write something about that because people shouldn’t have to feel like that.” Guest playwright Caridad Svich called Brimhall’s play, “truly captivating, smart and winning.”

Giselle Marie Muñoz, lead actor in Aubrie’s play No Compass, shares her thoughts, “I thought Aubrie did a wonderful job of balancing the needs and wants of a teenager in her play. A lot of high schoolers have big responsibilities around the house, usually assisting a parent with chores and helping take care of siblings. It was nice to see Rayen take on those responsibilities so gracefully. But I also love that we had the chance to see another side to Rayen –– a chance to be herself and connect with someone new to her life with joy, vulnerability and a sense of wonder. It’s really refreshing to see two teenagers communicate so freely instead of shying away from each other like we’ve seen in other media over the years. I’m so happy to help bring this story to life and want to congratulate Aubrie on her great work!”

When asked what her voice-over process in preparing and delivering the material is, Muñoz replies, “The magic of voice over requires discipline, imagination and flexibility. You also need to learn a thing or two about technology, because most often (especially now) you are recording yourself and you have to be able to send your work to the director. The great thing about voice work is that you can do it in your own home. The challenge comes from not working off of anyone. No lines to listen or respond to, no energy to feed off of. You don’t have the luxury of listening to the other characters because it is totally one sided. The magic comes when hearing how it all comes together in the end with the other storytellers and the sound engineering –– that’s the best part! I am so excited to hear all the magic of the Radio Plays in the Time of Corona!!”

When asked if she had other comments, Muñoz replied, “I love Marfa Live Arts and how they intersect the arts by welcoming guest artists from around the world and how they facilitate public education for both kids and adults within the community. I especially appreciate how they empower young artists to create and share their work. I believe that to be of utter importance. Please consider supporting them with a donation.”

Professional actors performing Radio Plays in the Time of Corona include Diana Burbano, David DeLaO, Robert A. Kraft, Giselle Marie Muñoz, Arthur Ruíz and Mónica Sánchez.

Radio Plays in the Time of Corona premieres on Marfa Public Radio, 93.5FM (marfapublicradio.org) at noon on Friday, September 18, 2020, and again on Wednesday, September 23 at 10 p.m. CST.

The plays will air again on KMKB 98.9fm (KMKB.org) over the weekend of September 19 and 20,, broadcasting both Saturday and Sunday at noon and 6 p.m.

Learn more at: marfalivearts.org