The Heroes of the Maya pay tribute to the brilliant innovators who, among many great accomplishments, fashioned the world’s first rubber ball almost 4,000 years ago and invented the first competitive ballsport. With the Rising of Royal Ringball we pay homage to the mythical Hero Twins of the ancient Popol Vuh and today’s traditional Maya ballplayers who still practice the original game of legend and lore.
The Great Rain Game Challenge
Drought strikes the ancient Maya kingdom of Tikál.
As the soil becomes parched and the corn begins to die, the King's Shaman consults his codices. The visions are bleak – years of dusty death as far as his eye can see.
Why has Lord Chaac Ha, the Rain God, chosen to punish his people so? What have they done to anger him?
An audacious challenge by a young prince and princess may flush him out. These noble twin siblings are champions of Royal Ringball, even then a venerable game of life and death.
In an act of boastfulness, they taunt Chaac Ha to a fateful game of Royal Ringball; he accepts, but not without a condition that threatens their family and the King of Tikál’s very rule.
We meet His Majesty, King Jaguar; Princess Paka, Prince Copán and the Queen, Lady Brightstar; Lord Chaac Ha appears with his Royal Ringball team of Croaking Tree Frogs; the Stalking Jaguar and Splendid Quetzal teams lend their fantastic skills.
Lord Itzamna, the Feathered Serpent; Master Xibalba, Ruler of the Underworld and his zany Screeching Cave Bats; the Brave Voladores and the glorious Goddess of the Moon all attend the sacred Macaw Ballcourt.
The concluding Rain Game Challenge, the Procession of the Corn and Lord Chaac Ha’s Promised Deluge ensure another millennium of the greatness of Tikál.
HEROES OF THE MAYA recounts this dramatic family saga on the grandest scale of the arena theater; replete with distinctive characters, original music, drama, costume, choreography, set-pieces, dialog, acrobatics and athleticism.
Where were you on December 21, 2012? That was the day that the long-count Maya calendar turned over and the world was to come to an end.
Well, we're still here. But we - and our children - learned much about the ancient Maya – to have designed such a brilliant calendar they had to know science, math, astronomy, agriculture and writing.
You probably learned about the Mayas in school or along the way - that they were ruled by great kings and gods with deep spiritual lives and that they created the world's first rubber ball and truly competitive ball sport.
And that almost 4,000 years ago, while the Egyptians, Chinese and later the Greeks and Romans were building their great cities and civilizations, the Mayas were equaling their genius and completely independently.
I learned about Maya culture many years ago when I first traveled through southern Mexico visiting ancient sites - then, more recently when our young son Daniel brought home a school assignment to write a report.
That report blossomed into an interest, then into an idea and now into a project to tell a small part of the story of this great culture as an homage; in a respectful, educational and entertaining way.
Enter our Heroes of the Maya Traveling Family Arena Show – the tale of a pair of royal Maya siblings who challenge the fearsome Rain God to the world’s first ball game in order to rescue their father’s kingdom from a deadly fate.
Now we're ready to take this show on the road, to the grand stage of the regional sports/concert arena.
Here’s the pitch – We have already funded and completed the first two tasks of the project, known as pre-development:
The first task was research, conceptualization, adaptation and outline
The second task was the writing, design, modeling and imaging
Now we move to the next phase -- development of the central ballgame, the Second Act of the show. Here we will build the basic staging, begin casting and rehearsals and position the project to later move to full-scale production and worldwide touring.
If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, please call me directly at 626.398.1960.