Fire Flowers and a Time Machine (Photo: Erin X. Smithers)

PROVIDENCE, RI (November 16, 2021) – Wilbury Theatre Group presents a new virtual iteration of Shey Rivera Ríos’ Fire Flowers and a Time Machine (Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo) streaming December 16 through January 1.  Spotlighting 34 artists, the experience reimagines the original production in a virtual space, with artists embodying Ancestors or Descendants who share their stories of ancestral inheritance, connection to land, migration, healing, and more. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and are available at

The online performance kicks off with an in-person event at Wilbury’s space in the WaterFire Arts Center on December 17 at 7:30pm.  This community event will feature performers from Fire Flowers and a Time Machine, as well as discussions on virtual theater and community building. To RSVP, visit

A journey through time and space, Fire Flowers and a Time Machine (Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo) puts audiences in touch with ancestors from the past and our future descendants. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and important political shifts, these guides bring forth knowledge and magic through a story of community healing that weaves monologues, poetry, dance and ritual. The production features work developed and performed by Sussy Santana, Saúl Ramos Espola, Maritza Martell, Becci Davis, April Brown, Lilly E. Manycolors, Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie, Matt Garza, Gina Rodríguez-Drix, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Eli Nixon, Janaya Kizzie, Rachel Hughes, and many others across geographies.

“I’m still unpacking the power and impact that Fire Flowers and a Time Machine had last year,” said director Shey Rivera Ríos. “It was much more than performance art or theatre. It was an act of community healing, of bringing people together to reflect, to journey, to imagine, and center ritual and healing during a very difficult time. This is an essential part of activism. Art and culture can give people hope and energy to move forward. And today, it feels important to share this work in a new format so it can reach people who missed it, could not attend in person, who live out of town, and for the people who attended who wish to relive it. I hope the virtual journey can provide at least a glimpse of the ritual-centered creative practice that many artists here -and across the world- have, a practice that is so important for our collective well-being as humans.”

“These past (almost) two years have given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine what theater can be,” said Josh Short, Artistic Director of The Wilbury Theatre Group. “Fire Flowers created such a powerful community-bonding experience last August that we’re thrilled to support Shey’s work to expand it even further. We’re thrilled to see this work continue to grow, and we hope this new virtual iteration will continue the conversations started by the in-person production last year.”

 Shey Rivera Ríos’ new work, Antigonx, a Latinx reenvisioning of Sophocles’ Antigone, will debut at Wilbury Theatre Group next spring (March 24 – April 10).

About Shey Rivera Ríos

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist and arts administrator. Their artistic creations explore a variety of themes: from home to capitalism, queerness, magic, and our relationship with technology. Rivera has 10+ years of experience in the arts sector. Their trajectory includes 8 years of leadership at AS220, a non profit arts organization and artistic incubator in Providence, RI, and being part of the team of the Community Innovation Lab (MIT CoLab) of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Rivera majored in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR-Rio Piedras), and has postgraduate studies in Culture and Contemporary Media from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rivera has been living in Providence, RI, for the past 10 years and loves their creative community. They support the work, creative paths, and projects of other local artists and engage in collaborations that spark the imagination and push the horizons on how art can help us envision better futures. Rivera serves on the Board of Directors of the Artist Communities Alliance and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at The Wilbury Theatre Group. Artistic projects include the LUNA LOBA performance series, the FANTASY ISLAND transmedia project, and -most recently- the MORALDOCS abolitionist film co-created with artist Vatic Kuumba. Rivera’s work has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic and Art Scope New England.

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