Pan-African Theatre Ensemble presents "Vejigantes" by Franciso "Paco" Arriví | Department of Pan-African Studies | Kent State University

Pan-African Theatre Ensemble presents "Vejigantes" by Franciso "Paco" Arriví

African Community Theatre room 230 Oscar Ritchie Hall

The Pan-African Theatre Ensemble announces the fall 2017 production of Vejigantes (Devil Mask) by Francisco "Paco" Arriví, directed by D. Amy Rose Forbes-Erickson, Ph.D., Thursday-Saturday, November 16, 17, 18 at 8pm, and Sunday, November 19 at 2pm, in the African Community Theatre located in room 230 Oscar Ritchie Hall.  Kent State students will be admitted for free with a vailid KSU ID.  General admission is $10.  Pre-sale tickets are available in room 127 Oscar Ritchie Hall main office betweeb 10 am-5 pm Monday through Friday.  Doors open an hour before show times.  Tickets can be purchase prior to the show at the African Community Theatre box office.  

Set during a Caribbean carnival of secrecy, Vejigantes (Devil Mask) (1958) by Puerto Rican playwright Francisco Arrivί, is about multi-generational women whose experiences intertwine in a tragic “mulata” trope, white patriarchy, sexual assault; and whose lives heal through self-affirming their common African heritage in 1950s Loíza, Puerto Rico. The story unfolds with a young woman’s dilemma to “pass” for white with her white southern American fiancé, or to embrace her Blackness when confronted. She must make the choice to expose the family’s secret or to continue hiding her African ancestry. Vejigante is a traditional devil character in the Black populations of Loίza and Ponce in pre-Lenten carnivals in Puerto Rico. Traditionally, devil characters masquerade through the streets wearing brightly colored, bat-like, jumper costumes with multiple-horned masks commemorating the battle between good and evil. In recent decades, the Vejigante mask has become a subversive symbol for African and Taino heritages in Puerto Rico, and an emblem of African and Taino pride for self-determination against imperialism. Vejigantes (Devil Masks) reveal multiple layers of intrigue in this beloved Latin American and Caribbean play.

Established in the fall 2016 by D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson, the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble is a non-profit, repertory theatre developed for ongoing research in Pan-African theatre and performance in the DPAS at Kent State University. The primary mission of the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble is to promote black theatre in the United States and around the world. Its goal is to produce engaging, inspiring, experimental, and eclectic theatre and performance styles from the Pan-African world, including the continent of Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. The ensemble welcomes community participation regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability and others in all areas of theatre. To learn more about the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble, visit

To learn more about the African Community Theatre or purchase tickets, visit

For media contact D. Amy Rose Forbes Erickson, Ph.D. email: or 330-672-0082