Friday, May 31, 2013

Teatro Luna

i'm not a super feminist. i'm pretty sure i've put that out there on the blog before. but, i am a woman, and i have experienced discrimination because of it. i'm sure we all have. and, living in this macho society does not make it easier.

just the other day i went to the hardware store for a little carpentry project that i have started. i walked out to the stacks of wood, picked the dimensions i needed and walked inside. i also needed some nails and some wood glue. but, while i was there, i was taking advantage and buying some steel masonry nails to drive into the walls at school.

"ma'am, if someone is doing a wood project, they probably don't need these types of nails. perhaps this one would be better?" he shows me a penny nail.
"yeah, i understand that these here big suckers aren't for wood projects - much less with the type of wood i've purchased, however. i need these for something completely different and unrelated. and i need 10. please."
"well, maybe you should call your husband and make sure."

i won't even tell you how that ended.
when i was at north park, i had an awesome professor. well, i had numerous awesome professors - and while some of them were guys, most were really spectacular women. a spanish prof who believed in me even though i barely showed up for her class; an african history teacher who blew my mind in every.single.class. and an english teacher who embraced me, dealt with my crazy and introduced us to new and great things. we went to coffee, to ethnic food restaurants, to pow-wows and to teatro luna.

i love theater. but, even with my crazy memory-skills, i don't often remember much about things i've seen on stage. it's something i enjoy in the moment and then let go. - i do after all need room for more relevant things like jeopardy factoids. but, the show of one-acts that i saw at teatro luna with professor acosta was moving. i learned some things about latina culture that i had never even thought about before. one of the one-acts was about good hair and bad hair.

and thank god.

because one of the first issues i had on this beautiful island paradise was with my hair.
i can't tell you the last time i went to a salon. oops. my beautiful, "good" hair is being wasted on that silly foreigner who just doesn't understand how valuable those locks are.

i've kept in touch with liza ann acosta. and she continues to be amazing. and, somehow in the past ten years has planted herself in the midst of these powerful latinas and bloomed. she's a little quirky, and nerdy. and has a cat (or more?).  and is super intelligent. and she said to me, "Where else would someone like me find a space on a stage? Nowhere! Teatro Luna always provided me with the confidence that my art mattered, that my writing was good and worthy of sharing, that my life stories were part of the fabric of a community that gave me strength. So, here I am. I am the "eldest" in the company and these women love me, care for what I have to give, and with their talent have given me the best gift I have ever received in the last few years: to have my very first play workshopped in front of a real live audience in a real theater. Amazing. It was an amazing experience."

and while i'm neither latina nor super-feminist, i believe in projects like this. and i wish wish wish that i could see a female cooperative like teatro luna blossom in santiago. because, man, theater and art are so powerful. it heals people. makes them whole. to tell a story, to tell YOUR story. that's power. but, i'm told that there aren't really a ton of women-theater-coops like teatro luna. maybe one in jamaica, if they're still at it. and a few, underground groups around? who knows.

teatro luna is looking to take their stories on the road. to the southwest. to do workshops and plays and change lives. they've got an indiegogo campaign with some pretty cute videos that explain what their vision is. check them out, help them out. if nothing else, click on their indiegogo page to up their "gogo factor" and help them get their name out there.


"You have problems with how Latinos are represented in the media? In plays? Anywhere? Have an issue with how women are viewed and how negative the term feminist is thought of in many circles? Then be the change you demand online! Give to this campaign- or at least spread the word about it-- because THIS IS WHAT TEATRO LUNA FIGHTS AGAINST DAILY with with our stories, our work, and especially this tour.


Unknown said...

Whoa! Pretty cool. I AM SHARING! Thank you!

Cheri said...

Hello there, My name is Cheri Thomson. I am not leaving a comment on your blog but I can't seem to find where I can post a message on this site. I am coming to the Dominican Republic in 2 weeks. I have been volunteering for the past 5 years in Peru and now in Mexico. I am looking for volunteer work and a cheap place to stay when I arrive. I am am sorry to intrude but I was was wondering if you could help me get the word out there. My email is Thanking you in anticipation