UVU Students Dazzle Playwright Roxanne Schroeder-Arce with Production of 'Señora Tortuga'


Bringing art to life in front of its creator is both an incredible opportunity and nerve-wracking. Still, UVU theatre students proudly performed “Señora Tortuga” on Friday, March 6, for Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, a professor, actor, director, and the playwright.

"The production, it's just gorgeous," said Schroeder-Arce. "They really found the heart of this play. The actors are all really wonderful, the music is excellent, and it is staged so beautifully."

Originally from Vermont, Schroeder-Arce began her journey in bilingual theater productions as a high school theater teacher in Texas. "A lot of my kids there spoke Spanish. At the time, there were not many accessible plays that were bilingual or had Latinx characters, so we began creating them together at this high school. I found a passion for it and didn't want to leave it behind," Schroeder-Arce said.

“Señora Tortuga” was written by Schroeder-Arce almost 20 years ago and uses the wisdom of Mexican culture to give hope to a family faced with too much reality. The production uses bright colors, lovable characters, and a blend of language and traditions to provide an impactful experience for all.

"The message here is really that we need to explore and have stories in our lives that help us to imagine," Schroeder-Arce said. "It's really important, and not just for children. For adults, too.”

The production is also an example of UVU's desire to celebrate diverse cultures and to create an inclusive community. “Señora Tortuga” increases awareness and appreciation for Latinx traditions while featuring those who live within the culture.

"This play here in Utah is super important," Schroeder-Arce said. "I know that UVU is committing to do this work for young people who relate to the show and for those who may need to see it. I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful that I get to be here and see it."

“Señora Tortuga” premieres Friday, March 13, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 11 a.m. in the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts's Bastian Theatre. Tickets are available via UVU University Tickets