The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2008

Culture*Park to perform Through a Portagee Gate

May 17, and 18, 2008
Cambridge and Fall River, Massachusetts

book
Two Portuguese-American
Plays

Amarelo, Paulo A. Pereira
Through a Portagee Gate,
Patricia A. Thomas

Culture*Park will present the play, Through a Portagee Gate, in Cambridge and Fall River, Massachusetts, this coming May 17, and 18.  The play is being presented in conjunction with the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities Escrita da Vida library reading series of books by contemporary Portuguese-American authors.

Adapted by Patricia A. Thomas from the memoir of the same name by Charles Reis Felix, Through a Portagee Gate will be performed in Cambridge at the Cambridge Y Theatre in Central Square, on Saturday, May 17, at 2pm (matinee), and in Fall River, in the Durfee High School Auditorium, on Sunday, May 18, at 2pm (matinee). Admission is free, and the performances are open to the public. The running time of this touring version of the script is approximately one hour.

Through a Portagee Gate tells the story of a New Bedford cobbler, Jose Felix, who had a shop at 868 Acushnet Avenue ­ "the old Weld Square"  ­ for nearly sixty years, until I-195 was constructed, isolating the shop forever.  The story is narrated by the cobbler's son, who examines his relationship with his hardworking, resolute, and loving father, as well as that of the New Bedford of his youth.  The author/protagonist journeys back to his roots through the unsuspecting presence of a Portuguese-American custodian who attends to his classroom in Escamil, California.

The cast is comprised of local and regional actors, including Richard Pacheco, as Jose Felix, Fred Cabral as Charles, his son and the narrator of the play, Shannon Gracia as daughter Idalia, and Nancy Leary as Jose's wife, Ilda. Further performances of the play are scheduled for Lowell, and Ludlow, MA, in spring of next year.

Through a Portagee Gate is newly published as a play (March, '08) alongside Amarelo, by Paulo A. Pereira, in a volume called Two Portuguese-American Plays, number 9 in the Portuguese in the Americas Series of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture.  Two Portuguese-American Plays is available locally at Baker Books, and at Amazon.com.

For further information regarding the upcoming performances of Through a Portagee Gate, please contact Culture*Park at 508-990-7779, email them at culturepark@earhtlink.net; or visit their website at www.culturepark.org; or the Massachusetts for the Humanities' website www.mfh.org.

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