Wilbury’s ‘Fire Flowers and a Time Machine’ starts streaming next month


Wilbury Theatre Group presents a new virtual iteration of Shey Rivera Ríos’ “Fire Flowers and a Time Machine” (“Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo”) streaming Dec. 16 through Jan. 1.
Spotlighting 34 artists, the experience reimagines the original production in a virtual space, with artists embodying Ancestors or Descendants who share their stories of ancestral inheritance, connection to land, migration, healing, and more. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and are available at thewilburygroup.org/fire-flowers-online.

The online performance kicks-off with an in-person event at Wilbury’s space in the WaterFire Arts Center on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. This community event will feature performers from “Fire Flowers and a Time Machine,” as well as discussions on virtual theater and community building. To RSVP, visit thewilburygroup.org/fire-flowers-online.

A journey through time and space, “Fire Flowers and a Time Machine” (“Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo”) puts audiences in touch with ancestors from the past and our future descendants. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and important political shifts, these guides bring forth knowledge and magic through a story of community healing that weaves monologues, poetry, dance and ritual. The production features work developed and performed by Sussy Santana, Saúl Ramos Espola, Maritza Martell, Becci Davis, April Brown, Lilly E. Manycolors, Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie, Matt Garza, Gina Rodríguez-Drix, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Eli Nixon, Janaya Kizzie, Rachel Hughes, and many others across geographies.

“I’m still unpacking the power and impact that ‘Fire Flowers and a Time Machine’ had last year,” said director Shey Rivera Ríos. “It was much more than performance art or theatre. It was an act of community healing, of bringing people together to reflect, to journey, to imagine, and center ritual and healing during a very difficult time. This is an essential part of activism. Art and culture can give people hope and energy to move forward. And today, it feels important to share this work in a new format so it can reach people who missed it, could not attend in person, who live out of town, and for the people who attended who wish to relive it. I hope the virtual journey can provide at least a glimpse of the ritual-centered creative practice that many artists here -and across the world- have, a practice that is so important for our collective well-being as humans.”

“These past (almost) two years have given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine what theater can be,” said Josh Short, Artistic Director of The Wilbury Theatre Group. “‘Fire Flowers’ created such a powerful community-bonding experience last August that we’re thrilled to support Shey’s work to expand it even further. We’re thrilled to see this work continue to grow, and we hope this new virtual iteration will continue the conversations started by the in-person production last year.”

Shey Rivera Ríos’ new work,” Antigonx,” a Latinx reenvisioning of Sophocles’s “Antigone,” will debut at Wilbury Theatre Group next spring (March 24 to April 10).

Wilbury, theater


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