Teatro Vivo is proud to present El Nogalar Written by Tanya Saracho. Directed by Rudy Ramirez.

“What would you risk for the land you love?”

Starring Yesenia Yadira Herrington, Krysta Gonzales, Olivia Jimenez, Gricelda Silva, Jesus Valles
Set Design by Ia Ensterä. Lighting Design by Patrick W Anthony. Costume Design by Jessica Gilzow. Sound Design by Alexis Arrendondo. Props Design by Helen Parish. Stage Managed by Lori Navarrete.

Performances are June 4 – 20 Thurs – Sat. 8pm and June 7 and 14 Sunday 2pm at the
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street Austin TX 78701
Free parking is available to audience members.
Tickets $20 – $14. Tickets are available online at http://www.teatrovivo.org or you may purchase at the
theatre starting 30 min before the performance time. All Thursdays are “pay what you wish” only at the theatre box office beginning 30 minutes before show time. The “pay what you wish” tickets are not available on line.

This modern bilingual adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard takes place on the beautiful but fading estate, Hacienda Los Nogales, now a hostage of the explosive drug wars prevalent in Northern Mexico. El Nogalar is the story of the Galvan family’s struggle to hold on to their homestead and their precarious social status before it slips away. The play shadows the family’s housekeeper, Dunia, as she watches the family matriarch Maite and her daughters squander their money and risk losing everything to a local drug cartel, La Maña. Despite the repeated warningsfrom the once humble but loyal worker in the estate’s pecan orchard, Guillermo Lopez, Maite ignores her dwindling fortune as stubbornly as she ignores La Maña. This poignant and moving story from playwright Tanya Saracho explores social class, family, identity and the choice between adapting to the changing world or getting left behind. Mature topics.Recommended for ages 13 yrs and older. Parental discretion advised.

About the playwright:
Tanya Saracho was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México. She is a Chicago playwright who currently writes for Television (HBO’s “Looking,” “Girls,” and “Devious Maids.”). Named “Best New Playwright” by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: OregonShakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna,Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino “Luminarios” by Café magazine and given the first “Revolucionario” Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is currently in development with HBO and has commissions with the following theatres: Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Two Rivers Theatre, Denver Theater Center, South Coast Rep. Tanya is also a successful Spanish Voice-Over artist and a SAG/AFTRA actress.

The Austin Latino New Play Festival May 14 – 16, 2015

Teatro Vivo Presents Fifth Annual Austin Latino New Play Festival

at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center May 14-16, 2015

Playwrights Andrew Valdez, Adriana Garcia, and Jelisa Jay Robinson

Create Fresh Takes on the Latino Experience.

Teatro Vivo presents the fifth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) in collaboration with ScriptWorks May 14-16, 8 p.m. at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. The festival includes three evenings of staged readings of new Latino plays with nightly general admission that is “pay what you wish.” A $40 festival pass is available for those attending all three evenings, and reserved seats may be purchased for $15 each evening. Visit teatrovivo.org for information.

 

ALNPF is a theater event that brings playwrights and audience members together in conversation surrounding three new workshop productions that bring insight into the Latino experience. After each reading, the playwright and director participate in talkback sessions with the audience. The productions have Latino roots and explore cross-cultural themes and modern dilemmas that surprise, challenge, engage, and push the dramatic envelope for audience members accustomed to one-way conversations at the theater.

Thursday, May 14 (8 p.m.): Basilica or The One With The Roosters by Andrew Valdez

Synopsis: Basilica or The One With The Roosters follows a Mexican family who seeks to enrich their lives by moving to the United States. Lupe makes a “deal with the devil,” gambling away his home and worldly possessions and endangering the lives of his loved ones for an opportunity to move to Helms, Illinois. Ultimately it’s up to Juanita, AnaSophia, Diego, and Julieta to atone for the sins of their father.

Playwright: Andrew is a student at the University of Texas at Austin studying biology and pursuing a position in Pediatrics and Theater Arts, with a focus in Theater for Young Audiences. His hope for the future is to nurture children with the medicine of the stage. Andrew is originally from Donna, Texas. His latest written and produced works include: UTPA Theatre Guild Presents: Melody, And The House It Was Sung In, Alpha Psi Omega Presents: Ticket Out of Night Vale, and Alpha Psi Omega Presents: No Llores, Señor Superior and The Case of The Missing Sun Locket (2014 UT Bridge Festival Selection).

Friday, May 15 (8 p.m.): La Carpa Garcia by Adriana Garcia

Synopsis: Ya Llego Ya esta aquí! La Carpa Hermanos Garcia, un gran función de acrobáticos, variedad, magia, revisitas cómicas y mucho mas! In La Carpa Garcia, Elderly Mr. Garcia recounts his days as “Don Fito,” a comic in his family’s traveling tent show, to his home health care provider, Hope. Together, they relive the adventures of his brothers and sisters as they work to amaze audiences by performing music, comedy, acrobatics, dance, and death defying acts. From his memories of laughs, love, and loss we find there is a bit of carpero in all of us.

Playwright: Adriana M. Garcia is an award-winning artist, muralist, and scenic designer born and raised in west San Antonio. She was recently awarded $15,000 and named winner of the Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project. Her past work includes community murals created with South West Workers Union, Bill Haus Arts, San Anto Cultural Arts Center, and Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio, Texas. Garcia has also presented at numerous national conferences such as 2013 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and has exhibited work in San Antonio, Austin and Houston Texas, California and Phoenix, Arizona. Garcia received her B.F.A. From Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied fine arts in Valencia, Spain.

 

Saturday, May 16 (8 p.m.): The Stories of Us by Jelisa Jay Robinson

Synopsis: The Stories of Us is a collection of stories that dig deep into the intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos, African diaspora identity, and Afrolatinidad. This scrapbook of experiences, histories, and feelings takes its audience through African roots in Mexico, the time you told your brother you were dating a “black girl,” and that moment you were proud of your heritage, combining to reveal people of color trying to navigate each other’s worlds and build one together.

Playwright: Jelisa “Jay” Robinson is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin whose playwrighting passions center around Afro-Latino identity and black and Latino relations. She shares her experiences being an African American deeply involved with and impacted by Afro-Latino cultures on her blog Black Girl, Latin World. Jelisa has worked with theatre, arts, and social justice groups in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Austin, TX. Jelisa’s number one passion is creating spaces for people of color to use the arts to empower themselves.

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

 

Teatro Vivo and ZACH present , Cenicienta – Cinderella, a new bilingual theatre for youth production.

Cenicienta Postcard

 

Audition for the Austin Latino New Play Festival

Audition for the Austin Latino New Play Festival 2015

Announcing Auditions for Teatro Vivo’s Austin Latino New Play Festival 2015

March 24th and 25th
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center
600 River Street Austin 78701
Free parking provided.

AUSTIN, Texas, February 26, 2015 – Teatro Vivo is pleased to announce a casting call for their annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) presented in collaboration with Austin ScriptWorks to run May 14-16 2015.

Teatro Vivo will be auditioning for over 20 roles available to men and women ages 18 to 80. Actors should prepare a comedic and dramatic monologue, each approximately 1 minute in length. Knowledge of Spanish for some roles is a plus, but not required.

Auditions will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24th and 25th, at the Mexican American Cultural Center, located in downtown Austin at 600 River St, from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Auditions are by appointment only. Please email Dolores at AustinLNPF@gmail.com with a couple of preferred times to arrange an audition.

Please come prepared with a headshot or photo for submission. You may also bring a resume – optional.

About the Austin Latino New Play Festival and Teatro Vivo:
Now in its fifth year, the ALNPF provides an opportunity for playwrights to hear, see, and receive feedback on their original works. The festival format brings playwrights together to work with a dramaturg, director, and actors to bring a play to life as a staged reading in front of an audience. The rehearsal process for each stages reading is approximately one week in May, with the following week for tech and performance. The staged readings are workshop-style presentations.

Teatro Vivo has produced more than 25 bilingual plays since JoAnn Reyes and Rupert Reyes founded the company in 2000. Teatro Vivo is proud to be a resident company with the Latino Arts Residency Program at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

Contact Dolores Díaz at AustinLNPF@gmail.com for more information.

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Inspired by the power of theater to both educate and entertain, Teatro Vivo produces and promotes Latino based theater that provides a window into the Latino community and makes theater accessible to all audiences, especially those under-served in the arts.

The Panza Monologues

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Teatro Vivo presents the Austin premiere of
The Panza Monologues
Telling our truths straight from the panza.

Written, compiled and collected by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga
Directed and performed by Florinda Bryant and Deanna Deolloz
with Eva Mc Quade

Performances are February 5 – 21 Thurs – Sat. 8pm and February 8 and 15 Sunday 2pm
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street Austin TX 78701
Free parking is available to audience members.

Tickets $20 – $14. Tickets are available online at http://panza.bpt.me or you may purchase at the theatre starting 30 min before the performance time. Thursdays are “pay what you wish” only at the theatre box office beginning 30 minutes before show time.

Panzas! Women – even wise Latinas – are obsessed about it. Some make their peace with it, while others just suck it in. While nutritionists and politicians alike weigh in on the imperious, impossible, belly or panza, as it is tenderly known in Spanish, Chicana playwrights and cultural workers Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga have something to say about its power for emotional and political liberation.
The Panza Monologues is an original performance piece based on women’s stories about their panzas. Tu sabes – that roll of belly we all try to hide. Conceived from kitchen table conversations and chisme and compiled from interviews of Chicanas of all ages, places, and spaces, these stories create a quilt of poignancy, humor, and revelation. Performed in monologue format and riffing on Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues, The Panza Monologues boldly places the panza front and center as a symbol that reveals the lurking truths about women’s thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and lived conditions. It boldly interconnects women’s health, their body image, and social justice issues. The production has received critical acclaim in front of standing-room audiences who laugh, cry, and scream in panza-truth-telling solidarity.Austin theatre artists, Florinda Bryant and Deanna Deolloz, direct the production. Both are also performers in the production along with Eva Mc Quade.
Mature topics. Recommended for ages 13 yrs and older. Parental discretion advised.

For more information on Teatro Vivo visit our web site teatrovivo.org.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/teatrovivoaustintx
Twitter – @teatrovivotx
For more information on the playwrights and the publication of the Panza Monologues visit Panzamonologues.com

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Diversity in Friendships

I glanced up from where I was writing this blog post and took a quick look at my two roommates watching TV in the living room. It’s around 9:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night. Each one of us has just returned from either studying on campus or attending meetings for the organizations that we’re a part of. One an athletic, short-haired American with striking hazel-colored eyes and ivory-(almost translucent) colored skin. The other a tall, slender, American-Indian (with distinct Korean ancestry) that looks at you with beautiful honey-colored eyes. Then you have me: a petite, too-skinny, thick-haired and big-brown-eyed Mexican. While these are just simple descriptions that attempt to portray my roommates and I, each one of us could not be more different from the other.

Aside from the fact that each one of us has had a different upbringing, we each have different tastes and interests. Sobia -the American-born Indian- enjoys snacking on edamame while Addy and I prefer snacking on near-empty bags of Goldfish and Veggie Chips. People who are unwilling to go and get to know others from a different culture, are empty in the sense that they are missing something: a differing perspective AND enriching friendships.

Despite the fact that I live in Austin (a city where diversity is easily noticeable),  most of the students at UT do an exceptional job of becoming acquaintances with people from different backgrounds and then turning these friendship pursuits into genuine friendships. If these acquaintances do turn into friendships, it’s because of similar interests. I know that earlier I said that my roommates and I have different tastes and interests, but as different as some of our interests are, we also share a lot of similar interests. Just like the three fairy-drag-queens in “Aye, No!”, all three of us utilize our differences and similarities and benefit from them. Our different personalities work well together, whether it’s to help one another out or to aid somebody in need.

All three of us love listening to artists such as Mumford and Sons, Foster the People, and occasionally having a dance party to Taylor Swift (pre-”1989”). The beauty of our friendship is that we all benefit from one another’s different cultural backgrounds and upbringings. Sobia makes a mean Kimichi Fried Chicken dish (courtesy of her mother’s recipe), I enjoy making Enchiladas Verdes, and Addy spoils us with her poached egg and potato hash breakfast. Needless to say, I will always be grateful of our willingness to step outside of our comfort zone and befriend one another that fateful day in our advertising class.

We can’t wait to see you and all your friends at “Aye, No!” out NOW! 

Dia De Los Muertos

When I hear someone talk about Dia De Los Muertos it’s easy for me to immediately  think of beautifully decorated sugar skulls put on display in the “Seasonal” section of convenience stores. This past week alone I’ve seen at least 10 individual photos on Instagram of my friends’ finished attempts at painting their faces, trying to make them resemble ornate skulls. Although each one of their face paintings have turned out looking incredible, most do not know why this is done by the Mexican culture every single time it nears Halloween. Even I, as mentioned earlier, sometimes forget to remember the significance of Dia De Los Muertos.

Those who do not know the meaning behind it think of it as the “Mexican version” of Halloween, and in some ways it is. Similar to Halloween, this holiday gathers family members and friends together. What sets both holidays apart is that Dia De Los Muertos focuses on gathering family members and friends to pray, remember, and celebrate loved ones who have passed away. Rather than make it a somber remembrance for those who have died it is a celebration of their life. Halloween, on the other hand, is said to use “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death”. The belief with BOTH of these holidays is that the spirits of the deceased are able to come back to earth. This day is a transition between our world and the world of the dead.

I won’t be going into extreme detail over everything related to Dia De Los Muertos, but I do think it would be beneficial to list key information for those who aren’t familiar with this holiday. Next time someone brings up Dia De Los Muertos you can impress them with some newfound knowledge:

  • This day has its origins in Aztec, Mayan, and other Meso-American Civilizations.
  • Individuals believe that souls of the dead rest in Mictlan, the land of the dead, and wait for the day each year when they can return to visit their loved ones.
  • It is a two-day celebration that takes place on the 1st and continues throughout the 2nd of November.
  • Nov. 1st is Dia De Los Inocentes. A day to honor children and infants who have died. It is sometimes referred to as Dia De Los Angelitos, or “Day of the Little Angels”
  • Nov. 2nd is the actual “Day of the Dead”.
  • To celebrate, people build ofrendas, or altars, that are decorated with items that are said to be attractive to souls of the departed ones (this is where the decorated skulls come in). Other items include offerings of flowers, old possessions, and photographs.
  • Orange marigolds, the Aztec’s flower of the dead, is used to entice the dead.
  • Skull-face painting is based off of a sketching by artist Jose Guadalupe Posada entitled “La Calavera Catrina”.

Posada2.Catrina

We’re dying to see you at “Aye, No!” this coming November!

You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Can’t Pick Family

“Families are like fudge… mostly sweet, with lots of nuts.”

No family lives the perfect life. Think for a second of the movies “Cheaper By the Dozen”, “Freaky Friday”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and even TV shows such as “Parenthood” and “Modern Family”. What do all these have in common? Other than providing us with some good laughs? They all have those loving family members – mom, dad, brother, sister, etc. – who meddle into one of their family member’s lives and frustrate them to no end. At the end of the day (or episode) however, it’s impossible for them to stay irritated at whoever did the meddling. The love they feel for their family members is unparalleled.

I come from a family of five, including myself. Although most of my family lives in Mexico, we are lucky enough to have a few family members living here in Texas. My grandparents from my mom’s side visit us about 5 times a year from Mexico City. Just like Alicia’s loving grandmother in the upcoming play, “Aye, No!”, my abuelita is also unfortunately somewhat nosey. About three years ago, around the time I started dating my boyfriend, my abuelita (during every single visit) would constantly ask me to bring him around. I would always make up some excuse as to why he wasn’t ever able to visit – which was quite awful of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my abuelita meet him, I just knew that when they met my boyfriends would spend the entire visit being bombarded with questions. She sometimes feels the need to make precautionary “background checks” on people who become involved with any family member. I knew I would eventually have to oblige to her requests. It was a miracle that my abuelita did not scare him off…

They have loved you through your worst and will continue to love you through all your successes. Whether you have a big, enormous, can’t-fit-all-of-them-in-one-panoramic-picture, forget-some-of-their-names-on-occasion family or your family is smaller and can be counted using just your fingers and toes, they are truly a blessing to have. Regardless of the size of your family, great memories are always made with your family members.

Don’t forget to bring your abuelita to “Aye, No!” beginning November 6!

Teatro Vivo presents Aye, No! By Liz Coronado Castillo

 

Teatro Vivo presents the Austin premiere of

Aye, No!
one abuelita, two tías, and three fairy drag queens

a bilingual comedy written by Liz Coronado Castillo and directed by Ricky Ramon

Performances are November 6 – 23, 2014 Thurs – Sat. 8pm Sunday 2pm

Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street Austin TX 78701

A pass for free parking is available to audience members.

Tickets $20 – $14. Tickets are available online at http://ayeno.bpt.me

or at the theatre 1 hour before the performance time.

Thursdays are “pay what you wish” at the box office the day of the performance.

Aye, No! is a bilingual comedy that sincerely addresses sexual identity. The play takes place in a small Texas border town. Alicia is coming home from college with a “friend” for her family to meet. The trouble begins when her loving abuelita (grandma) and well-intentioned nosey tías (aunts) assume that Alicia is bringing home a boyfriend or fiancé. Aye, No! What her loving familia doesn’t know is that she s bringing home her girlfriend, Kathy. Alicia does really want to secure her family’s acceptance and turns to her three fabulous fairy-drag-queen friends for guidance. What happens? How about some powerful curanderismo magic that will cure her of the “gay”? Aye, No!

The playwright, Liz Coronado Castillo, identifies herself as a Chicana theatre artist, lesbian and educator. She strives to bring to the stage the stories and characters that filled her own childhood and that surround her today. She views theatre as a social, political, and cultural platform and a space where audiences can dive into critical issues such as race, sexuality, class, ethnicity and the area in which they all intersect. The border and the intricacies of living in two different worlds at once inspire her work. She is the resident playwright at Sul Ross University in Alpine TX.

The cast for this production includes, Patricia Eakin, Martinique Duchene, Leah Luna,

Eva McQuade, Lori Navarrete and Jesus Valles-Morales. Very special guest performers joining the cast as the three fairy drag queens include Austin’s finest drag queen performance artists, Kelly Kline, Gemini Dai and Althea Trix.

For more information on Teatro Vivo visit our web site teatrovivo.org .

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

A Look Back at Vecinos

Vecinos, written by one of Teatro Vivo’s very own founders, Rupert Reyes, is a play that captures unforgettable bits of life, such as discovering love and passion again, and which reflects the timeless truth that love is closer than you think. Vecinos first premiered in Febrary 2008 at the Mexican American Culture Center in downtown Austin. The show was reproduced this summer, and ran from July 31st through August 17th. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask a few questions to the playwright and one of the actors himself, Rupert, on his inspiration to write the play and the rewards earned from working on such a piece.

What was your inspiration for writing Vecinos?

I wrote as a tribute to my Dad.  I was inspired by the love he had for my Mom, who died when I was 7 years old and his second wife, my Mom, who we call Susie, who he married 7 years later.  They went everywhere together.  He treated her like a queen and I can tell you that I never saw them argue.  Maybe they did, but I don’t recall it.  My dad was a gentleman and very intelligent.  He read the paper and went back to school when he was in his 50’s to learn to read and write better.  He had nine kids and 7 of us have degrees from the University of Texas.  His devotion to his first wife my mom, is now eternal as he wanted to be buried next to her and he is.

What is it like to be an actor in something you’ve written and spent a lot of time on?

It really is no different than doing a play written by someone else.  This is due to my writing style or inspiration, not sure what to call it.  What happens in my writing is that I will find a story line, something someone says, and idea (like the love my Dad had for the two women in his life, Vecinos) and then characters begin to appear who want me to tell the story through their view.  I find myself having to type very quickly to keep up with the dialogue.  I really do see it in my head as a TV show or a movie.  So even learning lines from my script is the same task as learning the lines in any play.  There is one thing, since I have seen the play in my head, sometimes the choice the director makes goes against what my characters told me.  So, I sort of gently nudge the director toward a different choice or the choice I saw in my head.

What sells you on certain people as opposed to others, especially regarding your own work? 

Are you talking about artistic choices?  Like directors, actors, designers?  If so, it is people who I have worked with and enjoyed those processes.  For others, new people, it is a sense or intuition that they are the right choice for this show.  I have made mistakes and brought people on board who had to be fired or quit but this is rare.  We have a specific way of working.  When people come on board with Teatro Vivo, we tell them about our unofficial motto.  “When this is all over, we want everyone, those in the show, the volunteers, the venue personnel and the audience to all say, ‘We want you to come back.’ ”  So it you are being negative or uncooperative, you are talked to. We do a “Cena” before each production where we bring everyone who is working on the show together, actors, designers and crew and introduce them to each other and let them know that no one is more important in the show.  That we need everyone in order to be successful.  And that we appreciate that they are the ones in this show. 

What was the most challenging aspect of bringing Vecinos to the stage?

The set.  When I wrote this, I really had in mind two complete apartments.  And the doors are very important in this play as they allow people to escape or enter into new experiences.  Doors are very difficult to build and we never got the shake out of ours for this show.   We have had more comments, positive ones about this set than any we have done before.  Our designer made the set inviting and due to the space, the venue, people feel like they are in the living room with the characters.  And then the narrator invites them in as well.  We had to create this space and feel like we succeeded.

What is one of the most rewarding memories of this experience?

There are many rewarding memories.  Wow, choosing the most?  Tough.  I think I would say that during a talk back, a woman sitting with her mother raised her hand and said that the play had opened her mind and heart.  That it would be okay if her mom, who was a widow, wanted to seek some companionship.  That it made her realize that we all have the capacity to love again and does not diminish the love we had for our first partner.  I write plays to make folks think and ask new questions about issues that are important to our community.  To seek solutions.  I was touched that the impact of this play was so immediate and that the person felt free to share it in the “community” known as the audience.

To end, here’s an anecdote straight from Rupert—enjoy!

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.