PSA: First Stage Starts 2023 With: Carmela Full Of Wishes!

From our friends at First Stage:

Milwaukee’s First Stage, one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families, begins the new year with CARMELA FULL OF WISHES, adapted by First Stage Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios, (ON THE WINGS OF A MARIPOSA/ LUCHADORA!), from the popular book by award-winning children’s author Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson. In this beautiful adaptation, audiences will discover that it is Carmela’s birthday, and her wish has already come true – she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands! As they travel through the neighborhood, Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. Before she can blow its puffy white fluff away, her brother tells her she must make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make! Delight in this moving ode to family, to dreamers and to finding hope in the most unexpected places. Sponsored by PNC. 

From Director Michelle Lopez-Rios: “In CARMELA FULL OF WISHES, we take a big journey with Carmela on her birthday. Like the book, the play delivers a world that stimulates all the senses. The imaginative set, costume, sound and lighting designs of the production will play a vital role in bringing this world to life. There are fields of bright orange marigolds, tastes of paletas (popsicles), smells of fresh laundry and the beauty of life by the sea. As she tags along to run errands with her Big Brother, we travel through the vibrant community that is their home. We watch as Carmela dreams up the perfect wish for her birthday and reveals what life is like for her family. 

Family is at the heart of this journey. Mami starts off the day with chocolate pancakes and a charge for Big Brother to take care of his sister. Carmela and her brother bicker, tease each other as they make their way through the list of things to do and complicated conversations. We learn about their undocumented father and how her Big Brother is filling his shoes. We ache with her as she longs for her dad to be home and her family to be complete. It is a story that is familiar to too many youth in Milwaukee as they carry the weight of tremendous hardships in their daily life.  

It is hard to understand a world that would separate a six-year-old from her Papi. It is a world where all the adults she knows work so hard, including her Mami. It is a world that forces her brother to grow up quickly and help her navigate tough questions. The story is necessary because it explores the difficult issue of immigration from the point of view of a child trying to understand why her father cannot be home with his family. It is a story that we all need to know and understand. As Carmela dashes along the streets on her worn green scooter taking in the world around her, we witness the deep and endless love of this family, and we feel the resilience of hope.” 

CARMELA FULL OF WISHES runs January 20 – February 12, 2023 at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at Performance runtime is approximately 70 minutes, which includes a brief intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 3+. 

More information and to order tickets…click here!! There are some special event days as well, like pay what you can or sign language interpretative days. So click the link above to check those out!

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