New York playwright Ricardo Bracho, an artist-in-residence during the 2004-2005 academic year at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Chicano Studies, will preview his latest work, "Mexican Psychotic," Sunday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in the campus's Studio Theatre.
Five actors will join Bracho in presenting the new play.
The performance is free and the public is invited.
Bracho's previous plays include "The Sweetest Hangover," "A to B," "Sissy," and "Querido." He first conceived of "Mexican Psychotic" while in residency with the Mabou Mines theater group in New York City and completed the play while at UCSB.
"Mexican Psychotic" is performed in a manner similar to a three-dimensional silent movie, integrating actors, an altar, slide projected narration, and live piano to tell the story.
The play depicts the life of artist Martin Ramirez, a Mexican who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and subsequently spent 30 years as a mute on the psychotic ward of a Northern California mental hospital. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and psychotic, Ramirez passed the time producing a collection of pen and pencil drawings of intense detail and stunning beauty that were largely unnoticed until after his death.
Bracho was the winner of last year's Center for Chicano Studies playwriting contest. He also participated in the 2004 UCSB Summer Theatre Lab and will take part again this year.