‘Em­brac­ing Beth­le­hem’ shares Lat­inx view

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hard work is so of­ten taken for granted.

This pro­duc­tion of­fered an op­por­tu­nity for scenic de­sign stu­dent Brid­get Broskey, who ac­cepted the chal­lenge of rep­re­sent­ing the work­places of each of the 25 char­ac­ters in the show, us­ing the Le­high Val­ley as a spring­board.

“We want to rep­re­sent the dif­fer­ent classes of peo­ple and the di­ver­sity in those classes,” says Brosky. “Although the show rep­re­sents the en­tire coun­try, it’s also im­por­tant to credit the in­dus­try within the Le­high Val­ley. The Beth­le­hem Steel ‘I’ and other in­dus­tries right out of Al­len­town are ref­er­enced through­out the show to give them the thanks and recog­ni­tion they de­serve for all of the work they do for our own com­mu­nity.” There are 12 ac­tors, each play­ing as many as three char­ac­ters. Cos­tume de­sign stu­dent Bai­ley Gavin’s de­signs rep­re­sent the unity that ex­ists not only among vastly dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sions, but among the Amer­i­can peo­ple as well. Light­ing de­sign stu­dent Nick Cul­mone cre­ated the pro­duc­tion’s light­ing us­ing a city sky­line and fea­tur­ing elec­tri­fy­ing ef­fects.

The 2 p.m. Oct. 19 per­for­mance will fea­ture open cap­tion­ing for pa­trons who are deaf or hard of hear­ing and au­dio de­scrip­tions for pa­trons who are blind or visually im­paired. Tick­ets are half price for pa­trons us­ing these spe­cial ser­vices on this date. Please call all Box Of­fice Man­ager Ni­cole Moyer, at 610-282-3654, ext. 1 for more

Touch­stone Theatre’s Fes­ti­val UnBound brings New York’s pre­em­i­nent Lat­inx theatre col­lec­tive, Pre­gones The­ater/Puerto Ri­can Theatre Com­pany, to the Le­high Val­ley, part­ner­ing with Beth­le­hem’s Lat­inx pop­u­la­tion to cre­ate sto­ries, songs and vi­sions for the fu­ture.

The re­sult is “Em­brac­ing Beth­le­hem/Abra­zos a Belén” Fri­day and Satur­day at Bethe­hem’s Ice House.

The im­mer­sive, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary au­di­ence ex­pe­ri­ence is un­der the di­rec­tion of Pre­gones artist Omar Perez.

Au­di­ences will be in­tro­duced to the new town of Belén, a town where sto­ries of the Beth­le­hem town of old are shared. The cel­e­bra­tion will be lead by Cari­dad de la Luz, Cedric Leiba Jr., and Des­mar Gue­vara, along with com­mu­nity mem­bers and dancers of the Val­ley’s own His­panic Amer­i­can League of Artists.

The fes­ti­val up­stairs at the his­toric Ice House, will present tra­di­tional cabaret and per­for­mances, and then join a mod­ern mix of dance, spo­ken word and mu­sic, con­clud­ing with a gath­er­ing of au­di­ence and artists for food, more mu­sic and con­ver­sa­tion. The au­di­ence is in­vited to bring their in­stru­ments and noise­mak­ers to join in and cel­e­brate the cre­ation of Be­len.

Pre­gones’ mis­sion is to cham­pion a Puerto Ri­can/ Lat­inx cul­tural legacy of uni­ver­sal value through cre­ation and per­for­mance of orig­i­nal plays and mu­si­cals, ex­change and part­ner­ship with other artists of merit, and en­gage­ment of di­verse au­di­ences.

Pre­gones was founded in 1979 when a group of artists led by Ros­alba Rolón set out to cre­ate new works in the style of Caribbean and Latin Amer­i­can “colec­tivos” or per­form­ing en­sem­bles.

Fes­ti­val UnBound runs through Sun­day.

“Em­brac­ing Beth­le­hem/ Abra­zos a Belén,”

8 p.m. Oct. 11; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Charles Brown Ice House, Sand Is­land, 56 River St., Beth­le­hem, Tick­ets: pay­what-you-will, sug­gested do­na­tion $15; $10 stu­dents and se­niors. 610-867-1689, www.fes­ti­val­un­bound.com.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO/MARY CALDER

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