Local author to present virtual, in-person puppet show based on her bilingual children's book

Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz, anthropologist, storyteller, educator, artist, and children’s book author, is staging a musical puppet performance, “Sofi’s Magical Adventure.” The show is based on her bilingual children’s picture book Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural" as part of the celebration of the Puerto Rican Heritage Month in November.


Virtual performances can be or viewed remotely via YouTube and Facebook today, Thursday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., and Friday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.


A live performance will then be held on, Saturday, Dec. 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center, 2800 Archwood Ave. in Brooklyn during the center’s annual Christmas event, Parrandon Navideño.


Ortiz’s Sofi will explore public art, imagination, and the Puerto Rican cultural tradition of Carnival as she visits beautiful places on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and gets to know the Carnival character, vejigante.


Sing along, in Spanish and English, (and maybe even dance) to bouncy music created by four-time Grammy nominated composer William Cepeda. The 25-minute interactive musical puppet production that celebrates public art and Puerto Rican culture with Spanish words, songs, and Afro Puerto Rican music and dance


Ortiz in 2017 began collaborating with Cleveland Public Library staff to create the bilingual, musical adaptation of her book.


“Promoting family literacy is instrumental in educating and empowering our communities,” says Ortiz, who lives in Lorain. “Through books and music that represent our people we celebrate our culture, share our history, and cultivate future generations of storytellers. And, we make reading, fun, dynamic and accessible.”


Ortiz’s next book, “Broken Butterfly Wings/Alitas Rotas de Mariposa,” will be published in 2021.


The production of “Sofi’s Magical Adventure” was made possible thanks to a Cleveland Foundation Minority Arts and Education Fund grant and the support of Julia De Burgos Cultural Center, Cleveland Public Library, Arte Publico Press, Esperanza Inc., the Music Settlement, and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in New York.