‘Embracing Bethlehem’ shares Latinx view
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.
Alessandra Fanelli as Sophie in Munopco’s “Mamma Mia!”