A performing arts interpretation of the magical
and poetic novel by Meg Medina
A performing arts interpretation of
the magical novel
'MILAGROS, Girl from Away' written by Meg Medina
In lyrical prose, Meg Medina
creates a fantastical world in which a young girl
uncovers the true meaning of family, the significance of
identity, and, most important, the power of a mother’s
Milagros de la Torre hasn’t had it easy.
Ever since her father left his family behind to become a
pirate, she’s been teased at school. Still, Milagros
loves her small island - Las Brisas - in the Caribbean
that can’t be found on any map. And she finds comfort in
those around her who recognize her special gifts. But
everything changes when marauders destroy the island
and, with it, most of the inhabitants. Milagros manages
to escape on a rowboat where she drifts out to sea with
no direction, save for the mysterious manta rays that
guide her to land. What is she to make of this strange
new place, and who will watch over her now that she is
The Latin Ballet of Virginia is proud
to present our dance and theatre interpretation
of Meg Medina’s novel, MILAGROS, Girl from Away.
Meg Medina has published adult stories
about the Latino experience and has taught writing to
children. She has also written for the Latin Ballet
original production of Son Corazon. She wrote the
poem of "The Hands of my Aunt," based on her childhood
memories of welcoming her family from Cuba. We thank Meg
for her valuable contributions to and collaboration with
the Latin Ballet of Virginia
Life in Las Brisas
Milagros de la Torre, a girl of 12,
lived with her mother Rosa in the peaceful island of Las
Brisas. She had known and loved her father until the
very day he disappeared for the adventurous life of a
Children gossiped about Milagros. But
without fail, Milagros quietly made sure the culprits
paid a price for their offense. A cruel child
would find a tree frog inside her school desk or dead
cockroaches in his lunch bag or a lizard in her hair…
Luckily, Milagros had one true friend in
her teacher, Señorita Alma, who knew she was smart and
good at heart.
How does a mother teach a girl to let go
of sadness? Perhaps by believing in magic… Rosa –
a woman blessed with many gifts – decided to share one
very special gift with Milagros. There is much more of
it in the world. You need only look where others do not
see. It’s everywhere around you." Stingrays of every
color had come to play.
Market Day at last! Rosa and Milagros
brought their spectacular roses and special herbs to
sell. Rosa knew the magic of plants and she loved to
help her neighbors.
Carnaval & the Rubians
Carnival time was the happiest time of
all. The gypsy Rubians would come with their parades.
Who could have guessed that this would be the last happy
day in Las Brisas?
Rosa is captured by the Rubians while
trying to escape with Milagros: Corre Milagros!
Run! Do not wait for me! Go to the ocean, you will know
what to do! The waves crashed into her face and rolled
her under again and again until she could no longer
breathe. ‘REST, NOW, MILAGROS, she could hear the large
A Girl from the Sea
For many days, Milagros floated
aimlessly on the sea. But at last, her dinghy came
dangerously close to crashing on rocky cliffs.
John Winters, his wife, Patty, and their daughter, Diana
A girl from the sea! How very marvelous,
Patty thought. A girl from Away, maybe even from the
place where mermaids live…just like one of my paintings.
If only everyone were as happy to
welcome Milagros. Diana hated to share her parents with
"You cannot stay here," she whispered to Milagros. "Go
back to Away."
And where was Diana? Still trying to
find a way to rid herself of Milagros. One day at the
shore, she found a bottle with a note inside: "Rosa
lives!" The note was from Milagros father. Diana hid it
away in the garden, her hate and jealousy growing
everyday. But no secret can be hidden forever…
Meanwhile, Milagros was discovering that
even a new place can offer pleasant surprises. Elvirita
Perez was an old seamstress, who had also come from
away. She had worked all her life to help her daughter
and grandson, in Mexico.
Soon, Milagros and Elvirita were fast
friends. Elvirita loved to tell stories, and her
beautiful Spanish language made Milagros feel a little
like home. Elvirita taught her how to sew. And one day,
they made a manta – a lovely quilt from scraps of
Milagros’ old uniform from Las Brisas, "her last clothes
The Cursed Ship
Far away on the sea, Rosa was prisoner
on a ship of pirates, thanks to Miguel de la Torre.
"You have visited our little slave at
night, washed her wounds, tended to her. Your dear wife
dies tomorrow at high noon. And it will be you who will
feed her to the sharks." "Behold, pirates," shouted El
Capitán. "We offer to the sea the most horrible act. Let
the curse be lifted from this vessel."
Rosa fell almost gracefully to the
ocean, her eyes closed, smiling and to the shock of El
Capitán, Miguel de la Torre, jumped in after her.
"Forgive me!" he cried. But as Miguel reached for Rosa,
he found only loose rope. As the nose of the first
hungry shark bumped him, he saw the most glorious pink
ray, its enormous wings pulsing to safety. Rosa’s love
had been stronger than all his hate and sorrow. She was
free at last to find her daughter.
The Rain of Roses
Strange events began to happen in Holly
Pointe. A mysterious mist covered the entire town, and
the fragrance of roses was everywhere. Each time Diana
tried to speak her lies, petals and more petals fell
from her mouth,
until there was a mound of petals burying her to the
ankles. Only the truth would make them stop. "It said
‘Rosa is alive," Diana gasped between convulsions… "The
message in the bottle!"
Reconciliations and a New Beginning
And Milagros? She found her old dinghy
at the shore and set out on the water. John and Elvirita
were helpless to stop her. Suddenly, a black shadow
filled the water. It was a manta ray sent for
Milagros. The scent of roses was strong. Milagros
breathed in deeply, recognizing the scent of Rosa’s
groves. She knew she would find her! She swam gently
until she found all her rays, caressing their backs,
looking carefully over each. Then she saw the most
magnificent ray, shimmering and opalescent like a pink
"Mama," Milagros whispered. The pink ray
encircled her child in her powerful wings…
To find joy and magic in life you most
look inside yourself
and see beyond what others see.
"See yourself with your own eyes."
This was the message that Milagros sealed in her own
bottle and dropped into the bay.