A new interactive and educational musical for children, delving into the story of a Latin American boy growing up in London.
Created by an all Latin American and Global Majority production team.
June 11-14: Theatre Peckham (Southwark)
6-year-old Manny is making his very first guacamole for his dad’s welcome home dinner in London. It’s a good thing his Colombian mum Valeria is a professional chef and knows a song to help with the recipe. Manny’s Mexican grandma is preparing the dessert, but Abuela Alma doesn’t like boys in the kitchen – after all, it wasn’t like that before. But Manny feels differently. Why can’t he become a chef? Or a superhero like Mighty Mujer? Or both?
Written by Betsy Picart with music by Ariel Cubría, directed by MAYA Productions’ Artistic Director Suzanne Gorman, and produced by María Cuervo, Súper Chefs is an interactive bilingual musical that invites audiences to sing, dance, and cook with a Latin American family in London as they celebrate food and question gender roles. Súper Chefs provides the rare opportunity for Latin American children (ages 4-8) and their families to see themselves profiled on a UK stage.
As a company that prides themselves in enabling social change and racial justice in the arts, MAYA Productions recognises the immense value in representation, especially for children. Suzanne’s Gorman’s AHRC funded research paper Where Am I? highlighted the importance of ethnically diverse role models and leaders for workforce diversity in the arts. It found that global majority role models are important because they create connections between underrepresented communities and work presented on stage. Having role models that look like us inspires a sense of belonging, and enables the theatre industry to be more inclusive in terms of who accesses it, as audiences, participants and professionals.
Playwright Betsy Picart began developing Súper Chefs over five years ago as part of her MA in Theatre for Young Audiences, where she was mentored by Suzanne Gorman. In 2021, MAYA Productions staged work-in-progress performances at Bold Theatre and Espacio Mamá, a group composed of London-based Latin American mothers and their children. The show was developed with the input from the group and the children learned about healthy eating, superheroes, questioning stereotypes and intergenerational dynamics.
Most recently MAYA have been collaborating with teachers and pupils at St Anthony’s School in Southwark to create a series of workshops and educational resources for primary school children (up to KS1). Young audiences will also explore Latin American culture through an interactive booklet with educational activities, fun facts and remarkable details about Súper Chefs.
Quote from Betsy Picart
“Súper Chefs uses lively original Latino music and fun interactive activities to explore the challenges Latino families experience when they immigrate to a new country, while highlighting the power food has to bring people together, no matter where we are in the globe.”
“I loved the message that [we] should teach children to help out at home, and to support their dreams, whatever their gender.” – Marilyn Ferrel, audience member
“I loved every bit of it, it conveys a lovely message about family and of not having stereotypes about boys and girls.” – Lizeth Restrepo, audience member
“I really liked the songs and the interaction with the children in the audience. The characters are well defined and a good integration of culture and the Spanish language into the story.”
– Paula Paz, Artistic Director of Cervantes Theatre.
“As a Latin American myself, and in a city as polyglottic and diverse as London, what’s more important is to be able to see all kinds of cultures represented on stage – that is inclusion”
– Tania Mujica, Spanish Teacher and Audience member
Venue: Theatre Peckham (Southwark)
Date: June 11-14 at 11am & 1pm
Running time: 45 minutes
Age rating: Children aged 4 – 8 and their families
Ticket price: £6 – £7.5
Booking link: https://www.theatrepeckham.co.uk/show/super-chefs/
Cast: Maria León, Damian Schedler Cruz, Cinthia Lilen
Suzanne Gorman – Director
María Cuervo – Producer
Betsy Picart – Writer
Ariel Cubría – Composer
Male Arcucci – Set & Costumes Designer
Harvey Ebbage – Lighting Designer
Gustavo Silva – Sound Designer
Anna Álvarez – Movement Director
Pembe Tokluhan – Production Manager
Natalia Knowlton Vásquez – Marketing Strategist
Adrian Devant & Gian Carlo Ferrini – Marketing Assistants
Federico Trujillo – Engagement Facilitator
Ivan Pieri Gonzalez – Graphic Designer
Image credit: Ivan Pieri Gonzalez