By Amanda Leach
Mariachi music is no stranger to Lesly Reynaga, member of University of Texas at Austin’s, student mariachi group, Mariachi Paredes. It was through her mariachi instructor Zeke Castro that she first heard about Teatro Vivo and the auditions for Mariachi Girl.
Photo of the Mariachi Girl cast with Lesly Reynaga on the far left.
Lesly, a Junior Public Relations major at the University of Texas at Austin played Cita’s teacher, Mrs. Parker, who helps Cita realize her dream of being in a mariachi band. Lesly has had several teachers as role models much like her character Mrs. Parker and thinks, “teachers are instrumental in every person’s life, and they can play crucial roles on who we become and how far we go.”
Specifically Lesly thanks Mr. Castillo, her high school mariachi instructor, for encouraging her to join her first mariachi group and introducing her to a new aspect of her background through which Lesly says she can, “explore my own culture and take pride in my heritage.”
Lesly’s favorite thing about Mariachi Girl has been the audience’s reaction and connection to the characters. She enjoys seeing the difference between children and adult’s perspectives.
Lesly explains that children often view Cita as the protagonist who relentlessly fights for her dream while her father, the villain, wont let her daughter be what she wants to be. Adults however, can identify with Cita’s parents who attempt to preserve their cultural traditions while living in the United States. Some female Mexican American adults, according to Lesly, “connect very well with Cita” sometimes telling emotional stories of difficulties of growing up in a family where women are limited after the production is over.
“Overall, I think the show has had a very powerful impact on the public regardless of their age, race or culture,” says Lesly.
Lesly feels blessed for the opportunity of being casted in Mariachi Girl and hopes to keep working with Teatro Vivo in the future if the opportunity presents itself. For now Lesly continues to focus on school and represent the Hispanic community in her future profession.
Video of Mariachi Paredes’ (Lesly’s mariachi group) past performance on the steps of the University of Texas at Austin’s tower.