Local theater company puts on free family event in Tempe

Childsplay and local artist, Zarco Guerrero, present Childsplay’s third Theatre Festival and Mask Procession, El Puente.

El Puente will be at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, 2-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.

This free, unique celebration for families features an afternoon of food, music and art. The festival includes mask-making, fun drama activities for kids, dynamic performances by local artists and other craft activities. Plus, the first 400 people in attendance will receive free admission to the 4 p.m. performance of Childsplay’s “The Three Javelinas.”

The free performances will begin at 2 p.m. and will continue through the afternoon, featuring:

Families will also see appearances by Axé Capoeira, La Frida and La Flaca Puppets and more. To conclude the festival, the community can join a masked procession of kids, families, performers and “The Three Javelinas” on the pedestrian bridge crossing Tempe Town Lake. The procession will start around 6:00 p.m.

The festival is the third in a series of events aimed at reaching new audiences and broadening Childsplay’s reach in the community. The events will be held in conjunction with Childsplay productions and are meant to deepen the audience’s connection with the performance.

“The word ‘Puente’ literally means ‘Bridge,'” said local artist Zarco Guerrero. “In every language the word ‘Bridge’ conjures up universal metaphors of transformation, enlightenment, freedom and even our passing into the afterlife. Here in the southwest the metaphor has special significance, as it represents the crossing of the Arizona-Mexican border, migration and the hope of a better life. In our Valley, we are blessed with the perfect locale to create a unique site-specific festival utilizing the bridge to bring this metaphor to life.”

To kick start this year’s festival, Mr. Guerrero will be holding mask-making workshops with local groups, nonprofits and community centers throughout the Valley.

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