Flora, a young American anthropologist living in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, is about to marry her true love, Pele, when their wedding plans are thrown into confusion. Pele is turned into a bird -- a long-billed Starthroat hummingbird, to be precise -- and will remain so until Flora can get herself a blood test, get the bird a blood test, sign her way through multitudes of government forms, and convince the Judge, an unsympathetic woman with suspiciously roving office hours, to show mercy. Is Pele’s avian metamorphosis caused by government policy, a lover’s quarrel, or 12/21/12 -- the impending Mayan apocalypse? No one knows for sure. Flora’s friends, arriving for the wedding, descend upon her house, and she receives the dubious help of excitable anarchist Henry, lonely farmer Zoe, and her maid of honor, Molly, an ethereal artist with a habit of leaving her body behind at high altitudes. Under the impartial and mischievous eye of San Cristobal, the patron saint of travelers himself, Flora must fight for the man she loves, and face her fears about the future. Kate Tarker’s An Almanac for Farmers and Lovers in Mexico is a surrealistic romp, a poetic, imaginative, and humorous look at relationships: with a partner, with friends, with a community, with a planet. Subtitled “a comic ballet”, this play is filled with movement and magical realism, and is perfect for a small, physically agile ensemble.
Note: An Almanac for Farmers and Lovers in Mexico has only one act, but at twenty-nine scenes, the play is long enough for a full evening of theatre.