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Play Opening Sunday Explores the Story of Modern Latinos

Aug. 10, 2018 By Tara Law

A new play at Long Island City’s Secret Theater will explore Hispanic folklore and identity in the context of Trump’s America.

The play “Eight Tales of Pedro” opens this Sunday and runs until Aug. 29 at the theater at 44-02 23rd St. The plot focuses on a pair of parallel narratives—a fantastical 17th century Mexico and a modern-day road trip in a van. 

Through the dual narratives, a cast of six actors tell eight classic Spanish folktales. The plot examines what it means to be Latino today while also exploring the timelessness of Spanish and Latin American culture. 

The play was created by a pair of Woodside residents, playwright and producer Mark-Eugene Garcia and his husband, director Rodrigo Bolaños. 

Garcia said that he has been fascinated by Latin American and Spanish folklore for many years, but the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency finally inspired him to look into his Latino heritage and to move forward with the project.

Garcia, a Woodside resident who was born in southern California, said that he was disturbed by the shift in attitudes towards Latinos after the 2016 presidential election. However, an appalling incident at his customer service job was the catalyst for the play.

When he approached a pair of customers to try and resolve an argument, he said, one of them looked at him and said, “Are you even a citizen?”

Eight Tales of Pedro Cast (Photo courtesy of Mark-Eugene Garcia)

“It just blew me away,” Garcia said. “But I took it as a reason to look back at my heritage. I wanted to find the honor of it.”

Garcia researched his family on the site and learned more about his heritage in Mexico and Honduras.

Inspired, he finally felt prepared to write the play and drafted a first script. 

He and Bolaños then invited a group of six actors they respect to do a reading of the play and to discuss their own heritage. The actors included Laura Aguinaga (ABC’s Shades of Blue), Roberto Alexander (The Underpants Godot), Richard E. Calvache, Germainne Lebron, Kat Peña, and Stephen Santana.

The six shared details about their heritage across Latin America, from countries such as Peru, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

Garcia then took their suggestions and incorporated elements of different Latin cultures into the play. 

Garcia said that he’s very proud of the result, and that he hopes that the play will inspire dialogue in the community.

“I’m looking forward to this becoming a period piece,” Garcia said.

“Eight Tales of Pedro” will be performed on Aug. 12 at 3:00 p.m., Aug. 18 at 8:00 p.m., Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Aug 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door.


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MRHYPOCRITE That wchoice than Hillaryas in 1980. I never said Trump was a good guy, he isn’t. He was a businessman then and basically thinks that way now. Is he perfect? NO. He was still a much better choice than Hillary. Recently at his golf club he wanted to hire Americans but didn’t get any and turned to immigrants with work visas.Some people change over time.



Good point only ONE out of 144 jobs at three of Trump’s Florida and New York properties went to a U.S. worker between 2016 and 2017. The other 143 were given to foreign workers.

The Trump Organization relies heavily on the H-2B visa program, to hire foreign workers; the Trump administration temporarily expanded this program in 2017! I wonder why he doesn’t support Americans?

Trump hired SO MANY illegal immigrants to build the Trump Hotel in DC and the Trump Tower in New York City, it’s clear he loves illegal immigrants.

Thanks for encouraging illegal immigrants to come here, and supporting a greedy luxury condo developer who makes more places for rich people to live. You must be REALLY gullible!



This show sounds very interesting! I think I’ll watch it before commenting my opinion on it so that my thoughts are more valuable!


Juana Juana

Remind me to skip it. What does this have to do with Trump? Trump is gaining a lot of support among latinos because of increased employment opportunities. These guys sound like a couple of cry babies. For the record, my kids are half latino and we all support Trump. We are getting sick of this garbage!


Tree of Liberty

Blah Blah Blah…Blame Trump on everything. Did not get enough milk in my milk shake…I’ll blame Trump.



Trump illegally spends $130k in campaign funds to pay off the porn star he cheated on his pregnant wife with…and these liberals blame Trump?!



Juana Juana I agree with you. Trump is not against all Immigrants, just the Illegal ones. There are people who are bigots, they come in all shapes and sizes. (races too). This person painted a broad brush on one person who does not speak for everyone of his race. We are all supposed to be Americans, not African Americans/Latino Americans/Italian Americans/German Americans etc… When people ask me what I am, I say American.



You are going back to 1980 for this criticism! I never said Donald Trump was a Saint. He was and still is a businessman. As he has aged maybe he has realized some of his practices were wrong. I read at his golf course he hired immigrants with work visas only after American citizens were offered the jobs first. Trump is not the model President but was certainly a better choice than Hillary.


make MAGA again

Juana did you tell your children that under Trump arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have tripled to nearly 58,000 people?

They are stopping people without any sort of articulable facts for doing so, aka stop & frisk is back. They are just profiling anyone that looks hispanic and arresting them.

You’re ok with them doing that to your children right?



To make MAGA again: You don’t consider crossing the BORDER ILLEGAL, do you? The ones with violent criminal records should go first. All people who crossed the Border Illegally have to go also. Come here legally. You sound like a Dumb-O-Crat who wants “NO BORDERS”. Many American voters want “BORDERS”, remember that.Do you want to teach your children that crossing a countries border is Illegal or not?


Juana Juana

Nonsense ! The word illegal means illegal
If you violate your visa you are subject to deportation
You sound like a very angry person who advocates for law breaking



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