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20111104_Hidalgo_02The Pharr Literacy Project's presents their play, “Tales of the Hidalgo Pumphouse,” with a cast of 10 children and 10 adults. The two-act play's premier run will be held Nov. 10 thru Nov. 20 in Pharr, for two weekends: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

The production will be held inside the black box theater at the Pharr Literacy Project, 203 W. Quentin Newcombe Jr. Ave. (formerly Park Ave.) in Pharr. The theater seats 60 persons at a time; therefore advance tickets are recommended but will also sell at the door at show time upon availability. Ticket prices are $7 in advance or $9 at the door. The box office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 783-7746.

The RGV cast tells the story of Luisito and Janie and their pals who come of age in Hidalgo in the 70s. While Luisito and his buddies are searching for the hidden treasure carried away by “Los Fantasmas,” the girls on the other hand are writing a history report on the pumphouse and performing the dance to honor “El Rio Grande.” The story is also about their ancestors who worked at the pumphouse since its initiation.

In the early 1900s newly-arrived businessmen with the Louisiana Rio Grande Canal Company built the Hidalgo Pumphouse for crop irrigation, eventually watering more than 70,000 acres of farm land. The Pumphouse operated until 1983 and is now a museum.

The play’s author, Lucio G. Rivera who grew up in Hidalgo, said he could relate to the story as though he were living it

"My family worked in the giant pumphouse, and I used to go swimming and fishing there," he said. He took dramatic liberty with the script to include creepy characters that make frequent appearances in the play. Rivera said it was typical to hear scary stories while growing up as a kid close to the river. Real characters also remain in the story such as Rufus Wisdom and Luis Rivera who were long-time pumphouse workers.

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