PHARR, Texas – Every October and November Juanito Gonzalez comes out of the box and into the spotlight. For the past 22 years Pedro Garcia, writer and performer of the one man act play, The Life and Times of Juanito Gonzalez has brought the title character of Juanito to life.
The children’s family play is set on Dia de Los Muertos and the title character of Juanito, who lived to be 100 years old, magically appears years after his death at his cemetery to clean up before his family comes to visit.
Pedro Garcia said he wrote the play in 1997 working in Albuquerque, New Mexico after being approached by a literacy group. Juanito’s journey, although at times rough, always remains positive.
“Takes you through the steps he takes to become a great man and it’s all based for his quest for knowledge college he is likes to rhyme dime you know.” says Garcia.
Garcia says a large inspiration for the play was it’s setting next to the Rio Grande. “And Juanito Gonzalez is Mexican-American. He was born in the United States along side of the border. His family came from Mexico and so his story is very relative to this community and to all communities alongside the Rio Grande and the southwest.”
Garcia says he hopes the play will inspire both children and parents to want to live a great life like Juanito. “Getting our kids the best life is what we want and a large part of that is encouraging them to further their education and stay out of trouble and to live a great life you know that’s what I would like to give.”
The show runs Saturday, November 2 at the Pharr Community Theater located at 213 West Newcombe Avenue. Shows at 3:00 p.m. and at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door, starting one hour before curtain, for $7.00 general admission and $5.00 for anyone 13 and under. (The intimate theater seats up 55 persons per show).
For more information please call 956-239-0412 or 956-655-9308.