Octavio Solis (San Francisco) collaborating with Campo Santo (San Francisco)
Award: $35,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2002
World Premiere: October-November 2005
Playwright and director Octavio Solis and ensemble Campo Santo developed and premiered The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, a play based on the true story of a young Latino couple who went on a robbery spree, holding up San Francisco Mission District bars and clubs in the 1980s. Together Solis and the members of Campo Santo interviewed Mission District bar denizens, collecting multiple (sometimes contradictory) stories of a pair of unlikely crooks who conducted a series of audacious robberies.
Octavio Solis’s work encompasses struggles of identity, border, and morality in the context of modern Latino American life, specifically that of Mexican Americans and Chicanos. In this project, the performers and playwright/director discovered and shaped the play’s development together. Solis’s artistic partners in this project, Campo Santo, first came together while performing Santos & Santos by Octavio Solis in a Youth Correctional Facility in 1996. Years later, performing primarily at Intersection for the Arts, they have achieved remarkable artistic and community success, producing new works with writers Migdalia Cruz, Denis Johnson, Greg Sarris, Jose Rivera, Naomi Iizuka, Philip Kan Gotanda, and many others. Core members of Campo Santo—Margo Hall, Michael Torres, Sean San Jose, and Luis Saguar, along with long-time Campo Santo associates Catherine Castellanos, Donald Lacy, Delia MacDougall and Danny Wolohan participated in The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy. The play enjoyed an extended run of performances in Intersection for the Arts’ theater and Mission neighborhood bars.