The Influence of Rasquachismo
A play’s directors and designers often look to existing works of art for inspiration, and the Alley’s production of Quixote Nuevo is no exception. For this show, the team was inspired by a dynamic Chicano style. For a long time, the term “rasquache” was a negative one, which conjured words like “tacky” or “recycled.” But artists have reclaimed and rebranded the style as Rasquachismo.
Footage showcasing the rascquachismo aesthetic of Quixote Nuevo
Quick Listen: Cheech Marin talks about rasquachismo and Chicano art
Repurpose Your Own Legacy
The Alley’s Education team recently worked with 10 local schools to explore the power of dreams in our lives, and our community, by creating an amazing 12-foot sculpture called Ambulantes. This work of art, curated by local artist Carolina Borja, can be seen in the Alley Theatre lobby during the run of Quixote Nuevo. Here’s how it went down:
Houston students were asked to create art pieces in the style of Rasquachismo. Carolina provided instructions for each student, and Alley Teaching Artists guided them through the construction. Each piece reflected themes present in the Alley’s productions of The Winter’s Tale and Quixote Nuevo.
Carolina collected the hundreds of items and turned them into the stunning and massive work of art. Students and their families will see their work at the Alley while attending the 2020 production.
Local artist Carolina Borja guiding student work
A Chorus of Calacas
For this adaptation, Octavio Solis incorporates an ensemble that fluidly shifts from the residents of La Plancha to a sort of Greek chorus, led by Death himself. They are the calacas- a reference to the skeletons commonly used during Day of the Dead festivals. In Quixote Nuevo, they are led by Pap Calaca, and they follow Quixote throughout the play.
KJ talks about the show's unique take on Calacas
Learn more about calacas, calaveras, & catrinas
A Unique Sound
Quixote Nuevo isn't a musical, but it is a musical play. It's filled with Tejano-inspired underscoring, soundscapes, and original songs. Even some of the instruments are original.
The lyrical dialogue and intrinsic musicality of the play is a fitting tribute to the source material (it's filled with ballads and musical references).
David Molina talks about Tejano music & its influence on his design
David Molina creates a unique sound for Quixote Nuevo