The Magical Piñata

Book & Lyrics by Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma

Synopsis

A seemingly plain clay pot magically transports Cucha, a selfish and lonely girl, from her small town of “Zapotoco” to a mysterious jungle filled with eccentric characters. Cucha encounters Parrot Rivera, a jungle muralist who paints the future, Señor Chapulin, a soccer star with the heart of the present, and Burro Burrito, a farmer that plows the past. But the evil Monkey King and his silly Sidekick know the clay pot is really a magical piñata and scheme to steal it from her. Through Cucha’s musical journey, she discovers magic in the mundane, cultural pride, and the power of sharing.

 

“A fun-filled romp that fits the holiday season with lessons for all to treasure and enjoy…filled with powerful messages, marvelous characters, charming music, and dance”- DC Theatre Scene

History

Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD
Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD

The Magical Piñata was commissioned and premiered by Washington DC’s Playwrights Forum and Imagination Stage in 1999, and won the Actors’ Playhouse’s National Children’s Theatre Festival in 2000.

Ruth Diaz and Danie Rodriguez, Keegan Theatre.
Photo Credit: Mike Kozemchak

The Magical Piñata is published by the Dramatic Publishing Company.

 

“I highly recommend this show as a way to take in some culture, escape the madness of the holiday season, and revel in the softer parts of human nature that make life beautiful.” – DCMetroTheaterArts

 

Musical Numbers

1. FIESTA OPENING - All
1. FIESTA OPENING - All



2. LAS MAÑANITAS - Señor Cumpleaños



3. EL BURRO - Burro Burrito



4. SEÑOR CHAPULIN - Señor Chapulin



5. THE MONKEY KING - Monkey King,  Sidekick



6. PARROT RIVERA - Parrot Rivera, Cucha
6. PARROT RIVERA - Parrot Rivera, Cucha



7. DALE! DALE! DALE! - Cucha



8. FIESTA CLOSING - All


Imagination Stage's Deaf Access Company, Bethesda, MD
Imagination Stage’s Deaf Access Company, Bethesda, MD

Production Elements

Danie Rodriguez and Ruth Diaz, Keegan Theatre.
Photo Credit: Mike Kozemchak

Cast: 2 Women, 2 Men, with doubling (or 10 individual characters. Optional Chorus)

Female
ACTOR 1 – Cucha
ACTOR 2 – Grandmother, Sidekick

Male
ACTOR 3 – Kid, Señor Cumpleanos, Burro Burrito, Señor Chapulin, Parrot Rivera
ACTOR 4 – Father, Monkey King

Music: Traditional songs and original music based on traditional Mexican Folk styles, including the Ranchera, Jarocho, Bolero, Corrido & Son Jalisco. Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Low
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audience: Pre-School/Elementary/Families

Authors

KAREN ZACARÍAS (Book & Lyrics) is hailed by American Theater Magazine as one of the ten most produced playwrights in the U.S. and the most produced Latina playwright in the nation. Her comedy Native Gardens,  about race, class, plants, and fences, hit a political zeitgeist and was one of the top produced plays of 2019. Her musical homage to the telenovela Destiny of Desire, “a terrifically entertaining theatrical roller coaster”(Charles McNulty, LA Times) has sold-out the largest regional theaters from East to West (Arena Stage, The Goodman, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and is now heading to Broadway. Her gripping drama The Copper Children,  about a controversial child separation case in 1905, just had an acclaimed world premiere at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and her bilingual translation of Romeo y Juliet will premiere at California Shakespeare Festival in September of 2021.  Other award-winning plays include  The Book Club PlayLegacy of LightMariela in the DesertThe Sins of Sor Juana, and the adaptations of Just Like UsInto the Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. Her work has also been produced at The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Goodman, South Coast Rep, and many more.

 

Karen is also one of the most produced children’s theater playwrights in the country. She is the author of ten renowned TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma including Ella Enchanted, Einstein is a Dummy, Ferdinand the Bull, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Chasing George Washington, Jane of the Jungle, and Frida Libre.  Karen is also the author of the Marvel play Squirrel Girl Goes to College, and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons – a large national organization of artists seeking to update the American narrative with the stories of Latinos – and she is the founder of the award-winning Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT). YPT was cited by the Obama administration as one of the best arts-education programs on the nation.

Karen was voted 2019 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine for her advocacy work involving the arts. She is an inaugural 2019 Sine Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University for advocating for the intersectionality of art and policy and was selected by The League of Professional Theatre Women to receive the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award given annually to a woman in theater who has helped illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. She was awarded the 2019 Medallion by the Children’s Theater Foundation of America for excellence and craft and a 2019 speaker at TEDEX Broadway. A graduate of Stanford University and Boston University, Karen lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children. She is represented by the Gersh Agency. www.KarenZacarias.com

DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (music) – see her bio page

Purchase

Buy the Magical Piñata script from Dramatic Publishing – $9.50

Andres Alejandro and Amanda Leigh Corbett, Keegan Theatre.
Photo Credit: Mike Kozemchak

No demo of The Magical Piñata is available for purchase.
Meanwhile, visit Crunchynotes on Bandcamp to purchase other show tunes!

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