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Fire Flowers and a Time Machine – Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo

Fire Flowers and a Time Machine
Fire Flowers and a Time Machine

Presented October 1-17 outdoors at the WaterFire Arts Center and the nearby American Locomotive Works campus, ‘Fire Flowers’ is a bilingual performance event directed by Shey Rivera Ríos and featuring work from fifteen performance artists on topics from immigration, ancestral inheritance, and our current moment.

Presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group & WaterFire Providence

A journey through time and space, Fire Flowers and a Time Machine (Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo) is a bilingual outdoor production that puts audiences in touch with ancestors from the past, and our future descendants. Together these guides bring forth knowledge and magic through a story that weaves monologues, poetry, dance, and ritual. To share with us the wisdom we will need as we continue the journey through the transformations of our Era.

Directed by Shey Rivera RíosFire Flowers and a Time Machine (Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo)is created in collaboration with performing artists 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, and Rachel Hughes.

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers wanted to work on FIRE FLOWERS AND A TIME MACHINE (FLORES DE FUEGO Y UNA MÁQUINA DEL TIEMPO) as Group Leaders, Front of House Support, and more. We are able to verify volunteer hours for those collecting for school or work purposes, and comp tickets will be available to those volunteering multiple nights.

All performances of FIRE FLOWERS AND A TIME MACHINE (FLORES DE FUEGO Y UNA MÁQUINA DEL TIEMPO)  are held outdoors around the WaterFire Arts Center and the American Locomotive complex, rain or shine (bring an umbrella if necessary), face-coverings must be worn at all times, and social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced.  Additional information will be provided by email prior to your performance.

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with Dept. of Health guidelines,
​tickets for all shows are sold in advance up to one-hour before showtime. No walk-up tickets will be available at the door.

About Shey Rivera Ríos

Portrait of Shey Rivera Ríos
Shey Rivera Ríos

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist and arts administrator. Their artistic creations explore a variety of themes: from home to capitalism, queerness, magic, and our relationship with technology. Rivera has 10 years of experience in the arts sector. Their trajectory includes 8 years of leadership at AS220, a non profit arts organization and artistic incubator in Providence, RI, and being part of the team of the Community Innovation Lab (MIT CoLab) of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Rivera majored in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR-Rio Piedras), and has postgraduate studies in Culture and Contemporary Media from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rivera has been living in Providence, RI, for the past 10 years and loves their creative community. They often support the work, creative paths, and projects of other local artists and engage in collaborations that spark the imagination and push the horizons on how art can help us envision better futures. Rivera serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artist Communities and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at The Wilbury Theatre Group. Artistic projects include the LUNA LOBA performance series and the FANTASY ISLAND transmedia project. Rivera’s work has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic and Art Scope New England.

About the Performing Artists

Portrait of Sussy Santana
Sussy Santana

Sussy Santana is a poet, performer, and cultural producer born in the Dominican Republic. Author of Pelo Bueno (2010). RADIO ESL (2012) a poetry cd, and Poemas Domésticos (2018). Her work explores the bi-cultural identity through text and performance. Her poems have been featured in a multitude of publications. In 2015 she became the first Latina recipient of the MacColl Johnson Fellowship from the RI Foundation. Currently, Santana is part of the first cohort of Creative Community Health Workers fellows with the Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, and the Healthy Communities Office. + @lapoetera

Saúl Ramos Espola (born in San Germán, Puerto Rico) is the Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Arte Latino of New England (ALNE), a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to creating bilingual (English/Spanish) & cultural events, including theater, poetry festivals, and children/youth programming. He has collaborated as an artist with many organizations and groups, including ECAS Theater, PLAFF, Trinity Rep, RILA, Fringe Festival, and many more. He has won several state & two national awards for his work in education as well as many recognitions in several states.

Portrait of Saúl Ramos Espola
Saúl Ramos Espola
Portrait of Maritza Martell
Maritza Martell

Maritza Martell is a Puerto Rican theater artist based in Providence, RI. Martell has been involved in theater for 25 years and has been a part of 30+ productions, short films, and a RI-made full feature film, La Guagua (2013). Martell has worked with Trinity Repertory Theater, RI Latino Arts, ECAS Theater, AS220, and the former Perishable Theater. Martell is Co-Founder of ALNE – Arte Latino of New England, a theater company producing bilingual (Spanish + English) theater in Rhode Island and New England. Through ALNE, Martell has taken from being an actor to exploring directing and writing.

Becci Davis was born on a military installation in Georgia named after General Henry L. Benning of the Confederate States Army. Her birth initiated her family’s first generation after the Civil Rights Act and its fifth-generation post-Emancipation. Now living in Rhode Island, Becci is an interdisciplinary artist who finds inspiration in memory, history, exploring natural and cultural landscapes, and her experiences as a daughter, mother, American, and Southern born and raised, Black woman. + @bdavissynergy

Portrait of Becci Davis
Becci Davis
Portrait of April Brown
April Brown, photo credit Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

April Brown is an educator, ordained minister, poet, singer, and actor living in Providence, RI.  She has performed in the United States, Japan, and Israel.  Ms. Brown holds a B.A. from The American University in Washington, DC, and an Ed.M. from the University of Rhode Island. She is the program director of the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading.  Her passion for arts and culture education manifested itself with experience in museum work with the Smithsonian Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the National Museum of American History she worked on the as an artist programmer for the 2004 and 2008 Folklife Festival, the National World War II Reunion on the Mall and the Celebration of Baseball.  Locally she has worked with Rhode Island Black Storytellers and the National Association of Black Storytellers as the African marketplace director. Recently, she served as the Local Program Director for Turnaround Arts: Providence. She has worked in educational systems with a focus on cultural engagement; professional development; and local community activism.  She has held several community-at-large leadership positions for arts organizations, as a seasoned professional and as a volunteer. + @mshelene1

Lilly E. Manycolors is a mixed Choctaw mother, interdisciplinary artist, and scholar whose works are founded in decoloniality and Indigenous liberation. Lilly’s work carves decolonial spaces in colonial structures in support of Indigenous reclamation and restoration. Recently Lilly had an installation in the Boston Common that focused on the epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Womxn and Girls. Lilly’s performative works are often participatory, inviting the audience to traverse emotional terrains to seek out decolonial liberation.  + @lionpawlilly

Portrait of Lilly E. Manycolors
Lilly E. Manycolors
Portrait of Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie
Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie

Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie is a poet and performer of the city called Providence. Daughter of colonists Laura touches the soil in this new England and asks what poem will help us remember how we got here. We – the settlers the planters the witches the queers – We – the present day multiplicity who want to thrive despite the ways we are pitted against each other by scarcity or the myth of scarcity. two-time finalist repping Providence at national poetry slams, Laura was the 2019 Providence Public Library Creative Fellow, and recipient of the 2019 RI State Council for the Arts Merit Fellowship for Poetry. Her current project, Club Desire, asks in word and synth– what poem interrupts extraction? What plant for this fever?

Matt Garza (he + they) is a Queer Tejanx/Latinx performance artist, dancer-choreographer, healer, and educator. As a practicing artist and a classroom educator with 10 years of experience, Garza cultivates compassionate spaces for communities to practice strength, resilience, radical self-care, and revolutionary movement together. Garza is a founding member of the Glitter Goddess Collective and the Haus of Glitter Dance Company. Garza holds a B.A. in Education History from Brown University ‘11 and a dual M.A. in Educational Theatre & Social Studies Education from NYU. In their free time, Garza enjoys glitter, painting, singing, practicing/teaching yoga, dismantling institutional oppression, eating spaghetti, and making masks and costumes. + @garzasmash

Portrait of Matt Garza
Matt Garza
Portrait of Gina Rodrígues-Drix
Gina Rodrígues-Drix

Gina Rodríguez-Drix is a multi-genre writer and practicing birth doula.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Brown University and raises her young family in Providence. Gina Rodríguez-Drix (she/hers) is the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism where she manages the ACT Public Art program, develops cultural policy, and facilitates creative placemaking projects.  Gina’s professional and creative practices are rooted in her fervent passion for social, environmental, and reproductive justice and a commitment to her hometown. Her work in creative placemaking has centered artists in conversations around community safety and has integrated artists with gardeners and food-based organizations to support a strong, vibrant, inclusive, and diverse local cultural economy and a more resilient local food system. Gina also serves on the board of the International Charter School in Pawtucket, RI. 

Octavia Chavez-Richmond is an actor, playwright, and storyteller. She holds an MFA in acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory where she received the David Wickham Playwriting Award. After graduating, Trinity Repertory awarded Octavia with the Margo Skinner Memorial Fellowship for 2018. In 2016 and 2017, Octavia starred in the award-winning films From Nowhere and Who We Are Now, which debuted at SXSW and TIFF, respectively. Recent stage performances include Lulu in Between Riverside and Crazy (Stephen Adly Guirgis) at SpeakEasy Stage Company, under the direction of Hamilton director Tiffany Nicole Greene, and Cannibal Queen in Airness (Chelsea Marcantel) at Chautauqua Theater Company. In 2019, she starred in the title role of José Rivera’s Marisol. Octavia’s writing focuses on women’s relationship to their bodies. She is particularly interested in women of color and their sexual agency. Her work disrupts hierarchy, racism, and misogyny and challenges conventional beauty standards. + @octaviapcr

Portrait of Octavia Chavez-Richmond
Octavia Chavez-Richmond
Portrait of Eli Nixon
Eli Nixon

Eli Nixon builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don’t yet exist, or already exist but call for imaginative intervention and DIY translation. They are a settler-descended transqueer clown, a cardboard constructionist, and a maker of plays, puppets, parades, pageants, suitcase theaters, and low-tech spectaculah. They collaborate with artists, activists, and the more-than-human world. For 20 years Eli has also been concocting theater and parades with schools, senior centers, and addiction recovery, and mental health programs. Eli has an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown University (2018), an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College (2009), and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic (1999). They are a founder and co-facilitator of the Anti-Racism Working Group for White Parents at The Gordon School and a member of Art Equity’s 2019 cohort of artist-activists. They are a Coastal Institute Fellow, an affiliated artist of New Georges Theater, and a member of Company One’s PlayLab Unit. + @ramshackleenterprises

About the author

+ posts by author

I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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