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Georgina Hernandez-Escobar celebrates her bicultural roots through art

Ivan Pierre Aguirre
UTEP faculty Georgina Hernandez Escobar, Thursday, January 30, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

Recently, “Alebrijes” took center stage at the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Garden Ampitheater, highlighting the culture significance of Dia de los Muertos by director and playwright Georgina Hernandez-Escobar. 

Before coming to work at UTEP in 2019, Escobar spent ten years living in New York, her ‘artistic home,’ in her own words. Spanning from El Paso to New York, Escobar spent months preparing for the opening of “Alebrijes.” 

“‘Alebrijes’ was originally written in late 2017 as a commissioned piece for Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon as part of their Día De Los Muertos annual show (2018),” said Escobar.  

“The show holds a special place in my heart, and when the Department of Theatre and Dance decided to include it in their season, I felt very humbled to have the opportunity to share this piece with El Paso/Juarez audiences,” Escobar said. “Having a show here, in a community I love and where I’m from, also felt like an embrace from a loved one.  Overall, it felt beautiful to have the shows in both places.” 

From “Alebrijes” to her upcoming musical “Little Duende,” Escobar hopes audiences will leave with an appreciation for the art of theatre and a deeper connection to who they are. Each piece has a different message, and Escobar continues to create art out of love for her culture and allows others to view the uniqueness of Mexican culture. 

“Generally, my goal in writing and therefore in performance is that people leave feeling a little bit more connected to their humanity, their cultures, their person, and those around them,” said Escobar. “I aim to write stories that connect us and have a lot of heart.” 

However, despite her remarkable success as a bilingual playwright, having theatres or drama groups perform her art is a hurdle when trying to put on performances locally. Escobar was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and has spent much time both in El Paso and Juárez. Yet, she still finds it hard to have her shows perform locally to a predominantly bilingual audience. 

“The struggle really is that there are no theatre groups or theatres outside of the university that are truly committed to new work development and production,” Escobar said. “Which in other cities is the heartbeat of the theatrical community and is where I thrive.” 

Even with it being hard to highlight her art to a bigger audience in the borderland area, Escobar is grateful for the opportunity to have her work performed here at UTEP and it is one of her favorite memories so far. 

“It’s hard to pinpoint, but in all honesty, watching UTEP’s production of ‘Alebrijes’ every night was unusual to me, and I really enjoyed it,” said Escobar. “As a playwright/director, I usually fly out the day after opening a show, and it’s rare that I get to see more than opening night. With this production, I was part of a team, and we were there for each other every night. That felt truly special, and it reminded me of why I do what I do.” 

This is only one step in the right direction for Escobar. Along with “Little Duende,” she is also developing an audio series with Sonora Media House and a short play for Project Y Theatre Company in New York to be presented in December. Escobar is also planning on taking a generative year to create pilots and screenplays and shift focus towards writing for the screen. 

Itzel Giron is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]; @by.itzel.giron on Instagram and @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter. 


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About the Contributor
Itzel Giron
Itzel Giron, Editor-in-chief
Itzel Giron is a senior multimedia journalism and creative writing student at UTEP. She started her journalistic career at The Prospector in the fall of 2021 as a staff reporter and is now editor-in-chief. Thanks to The Prospector and her tenacity, Itzel has had the opportunity to be an intern with KVIA Channel 7 at El Paso. Itzel is also a freelance journalist, and her work has been published in The City Magazine, Borderzine and Walsworth Yearbooks. After graduation, Itzel hopes to continue her passion of journalism by working in broadcast television reporting on politics, entertainment and news.
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Georgina Hernandez-Escobar celebrates her bicultural roots through art