Play delivers a powerful performance for Día de los Muertos


Ugho Badu as Macario (right), and Diana Davila as La Mujer (left) in the revival of “Marcario” at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Perez)

Ashley Huerta, Freelance Reporter

Honorable mentions for the play “Marcario” hang in the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose, California on Oct. 13. (Ashley Huerta)

Chicano theater company, Teatro Visión, premiered its first performance of the year for “Marcario,” a theater adaptation of a classic Mexican tale of the same name at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose, California on Oct. 13.

“Marcario” is a well-known story in Mexican culture about a poor indigenous woodcutter living in colonial Mexico, whose only desire is to live a day without hunger. When he is granted with his wish, he is given a healing power that changes the lives of his family and that of his community forever.  The play was directed by Rodrigo García. 

The recognized parable is typically compared to Charles’ Dickens “A Christmas Carol,” as the main character, Marcario, is visited by God, the Devil and Death after his wish comes true. 

“Marcario” carries on the tradition of Día de los Muertos, a holiday which celebrates death despite the sadness that comes with it. The play also depicts the idiosyncratic relationship we have with death and utilizes humor as a way to help us understand death as a part of life. 

Janet Frias, who attended the play, enjoyed the show because of its importance to Mexican culture and its comedic aspect despite its darker themes. 

“This story has been told for generations and generations and it’s a really cool and different way of displaying it,” Frias said, ”It’s so important for our culture.” 

Attendee Juliana Lara also said she enjoyed the play for similar reasons. 

Dia De Los Muertos Altar at Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose, California, on Oct. 13. (Ashley Huerta)

“(The play was) very beautiful and inspiring,” Lara said. “(It) makes me wish I knew more about my culture.”

Rebecca Aerola, another attendee, said that the performance is especially important for younger generations. 

“Nowadays, there’s so much superficial aspects with the internet that we forget real things that go on,” Aerola said. “We don’t think about death a lot in depth.”

Aerola also commented that she liked the play’s conversation on death and morality.

“(I liked) how the play toggled between mortality because Marcario had to let Death run its course even though sometimes he didn’t want people to pass,” Aerola said. 

To see more information on Teatro Visión’s events, check out their website at Teatro Visión (