LightBox presents the world premiere of “The Super Cilantro Girl”

TURLOCK — LightBox Theatre Company is starting its second season with “The Super Cilantro Girl,” a world premiere production based on the works of U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

“The Super Cilantro Girl” is an original script written by Dr. Arnold Anthony Schmidt, a professor of English at Stanislaus State. The play will follow Herrera’s visit to the Carnegie Arts Center on Sept. 18 as a keynote speaker as part of the Center’s centennial celebration.

The play, targeted for young audiences, will take the stage Oct. 14-23 at the Loft Theatre at the Carnegie Arts Center in Downtown Turlock.

“The Super Cilantro Girl” revolves around the lives of a family of migrant workers: 12-year-old Esmeralda, her younger brother Juanito, Papi, and Mamá. After years on the road, full of hard work and adventures, the family can finally settle down.  Now the children must attend new schools, learn a new language, and find their places in the world.  Along the way, they discover the power of words and the imagination, as well as the importance of their Mexican-American heritage and its place in California’s Central Valley.

LightBox Theatre Company co-founders Stefani Tsai and Eric Broadwater are directing and designing the production, respectively. The play features local actors from the community and Stanislaus State.

“We are fortunate to be able to work with Dr. Schmidt and Mr. Herrera in presenting this original production to our young audiences,” Tsai said. “One of our missions is to produced adaptations of children’s literature and to develop new works that reflect the history, stories, and culture of our diverse community. ‘The Super Cilantro Girl’ definitely does all of that.”

Last October, LightBox Theatre Company made its debut on the local theatre scene with its presentation of “Bunnicula” before a follow-up this past April with “The

Reluctant Dragon.” Each production attracted more than 700 people attending public or school performances.