Here is the book, performed by the author. Enjoy! Gracias!!
The play, Coyote’s Christmas Carol, is now an illustrated children’s book.
This is a Christmas Carol that Latino and Native American children can really relate to. A truly American Christmas story. I hear from teachers all the time telling me how their students respond enthusiastically to the story because they have prior knowledge of the holiday traditions. Often, it becomes a teachable moment where the the young Latino students can teach the teacher about their culture.
Charles Dickens classic story is so wonderful to read during the holidays, but rather than always having to think about merry old England, why not explore the themes of greed, charity, and redemption with a successful Mexican Scrooge who is taken on his journeys by Coyote (the trickster,) Mariposa (monarch butterfly,) Venado (a blue deer,) and La Llorona (an infamous ghost figure.)
The character Mariposa explains that all monarch butterflies (in North America) migrate to Michoacan, Mexico to spend the winter. This is an opportunity to discuss migration, insects, etc.
Here’s a new short video for Coyote Christmas Carol.
Featuring East Mountain Centre for Theatre’s 2012 production.
Coyote Christmas Carol is a New Mexican holiday comedy play script. Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol is set in the Southwest with Native American and Mexican characters like Coyote, Mariposa, Venado, and La Llorona. It’s an award winning large cast celebration of life and redemption that has been performed in New York, California, Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, New Hampshire, S. Korea, and The Philippines, to name a few. The play is published by Playscripts, Inc. For more information: http://www.coyoteplay.com
The ghost of Christmas Past is a Monarch butterfly named Mariposa who takes Scrooge back to his humble roots in Michoacan, Mexico. In Native American mythology butterflies sybolized rebirth, beauty, and metamorphosis. NOVA on PBS has an excellent episode on the amazing migration of the Monarchs. I have condensed it to a five and a half minute video which gives a lot of insight into the character of Mariposa. Enjoy!
When Scrooge is taken back to “Christmas past” in Michoacan, Mexico, he comments on the poinsettia shrubs growing in the plaza of his small town. Productions I have seen of Coyote’s Christmas Carol used small potted poinsettias wrapped in foil like they just came from Home Depot. In Mexico the shrub or small tree, typically reaches a height of 2 to 16 ft (0.6 to 4 m). I would like to see productions try to create a more fitting representation of the beautiful Noche Buena plant Scrooge remembers from his youth. Or if this is too difficult, take the foil off and put the plants in old baskets.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico where they are called “Flor de la Noche Buena” or just “Noche Buena” (Christmas Eve.) They were cultivated by the Aztec Indians. The colorful bracts were used to make a reddish purple dye. After the Spanish conquest and the introduction of Christianity, poinsettias began to be used in Christian rituals. Franciscan priests used the poinsettia in their nativity processions. Poinsettias were first introduced into the United States by Joel Robert Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsett had plants sent to his home in South Carolina. He then distributed plants to horticultural friends and botanical gardens.
Hello and welcome to my blog. Of all the plays I’ve written, Coyote’s Christmas Carol is the one that has caught on with the public. That makes me happy because it’s a play that I really love. I’m writing this blog so that I can share my thoughts and ideas about the play for directors who might be thinking about doing the show. Hopefully, it can be helpful in that regard. But the other reason for this blog is that it lets me be a part of the play. Usually, a new play is workshopped and rehearsed before it is produced and published. But I never got to do that. I wrote Coyote’s Christmas Carol, won second prize in the Marilyn Hall Awards, and then it was published by Playscripts, Inc. I never got the opportunity to workshop and do rewrites with the benefit of actors, director, dramaturge… So, in many ways I think of the script as a work in progress. I have never been involved in a production, although I have had the wonderful oppurtunity to see a number of productions. So, I guess this blog is my way of workshopping the script for future directors, teachers, actors, companies. I welcome your comments and input!