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Thursday
May122011

Leyva, Amaranta (Mexico)

Amaranta Leyva was born in Mexico in 1973. She is an actor, puppeteer and playwright. Puppet theatre has been her means of expression, in particular, writing and directing for children’s audiences. In her own words: “to explore a child’s world allows me to find my most hidden, profound and intense emotions of being human.”

She comes from a theatre family and has been exposed to puppetry from a very early age. Her early relationship with the puppetry world inspired her to explore and develop this art form. Since then, puppets of all styles have influenced her life and writing. She has become a leading playwright in Mexico, writing for children’s theatre and puppet theatre. Her stories speak of children and their dreams, desires, fears and happiness.

She has been a member of the Mexican Puppetry Company, Marionetas de la Esquina, since 1989. This puppet troupe is one of the leading puppet companies in Mexico and has extensively toured internationally. They are the producers of the International Puppet Festival Titerias, a very successful annual event that joins many Mexican and International Puppet companies in Mexico City. 

Her work has been largely viewed by the Mexican public and has been taken abroad as well. Among those include: El cielo de los perros (Dog’s heaven), Dibújame una vaca (Emilio and the enchanted cow) (featured at the Kenedy Center in Washington DC), Mía and El Vestido (The dress), which was awarded the National Award of Theatre for Children in Mexico. Her books have been published and they are part of the National Program of Reading in Mexico.

Published books:

  • Antología de dramaturgos mexicanos. (Tierra adentro, 2003).
  • Marionetas de la Esquina tras bambalinas (Cal y Arena, 2004).
  • Dibújame una vaca y otras piezas de teatro infantil (Cal y Arena, 2004).
  • Cuentos y poemas para armar (Cal y Arena, 2004).
  • El cielo de los perros (Cal y Arena, 2005).
  • Mía (ASSITEJ España, 2006) (PASO DE GATO, México 2008).
  • El vestido y otras piezas para teatro de títeres (Ed. Patria  y Gobierno de Coahuila).
  • Dibújame una vaca (PASO DE GATO 2009.)

Festivals:

Encuentro Teatralia, Alcalá de Henares, Spain (2009,) International Children’s Theatre Festival, St. Louis Missouri, 2008, International Children’s Theatre Festival, Pittsburgh, 2008, Detroit Festival of Arts 2007, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago Humanities Festival 2006, Festival Internacional Tolosa, España 2006, 2004, International Puppet theatre Festival, Sevilla, España, 2005; Titerías México, 2003; Arte 02, México D.F. 2002, 1er Festival Alas y Raíces a los Niños, 2002.

By Manuel A. Moran, Ph.D.