A Night with Julia Álvarez
On March 3rd, 2017 we had the pleasure of hosting an event with author of the novel “En el nombre de Salomé”, Julia Álvarez!
Guests arrived excited to meet Julia Álvarez and also to see the stage adaptation “En el nombre de Salomé” written by Marco Antonio Rodríguez and directed by José Zayas. The evening began with a cocktail where Julia spoke with all the attendees, took picture and heard many express their admiration for her work. Before the performance, Julia shared a few words with the audience about the relevance and importance of Salome Ureña and Marco Antonio Rodríguez’s adaptation.
Post-event Julia shared these words:
“It’s so gratifying when an artist sees that her work has inspired yet another artist and through that artist little tendrils go out to more and more people who see the play, who might not have read the novel, or who have. A way of spreading the stories that are important to our history and culture.
Marco Antonio surprised me when he asked if he could turn In the Name of Salomé into a play, as it didn’t seem like the one of my novels that might most appeal to a young person. But he managed to make it work effectively as a piece of theatre and to make the themes super relevant to our times: activism during disappointing times, education (specifically women’s education), identity especially when it differs from the norm. The cast at Repertorio Español were excellent—each character totally in character. What a thrill to see my characters leap off the page! They did an excellent job!
Touches I liked in Marco Antonio’s adaptation and RE production: the use of more “contemporary characters” to pull the play into the present: Sylvestre (the Haitian-Dominican taxi driver), Natalia (young daughter of Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Salome’s son); the use of the set to morph from mid 1800s to mid 1900s; the highlighting of Camila’s & Salome’s poetry and how Marco Antonio inserted key excerpts from the poems into the action of the play. He brought a complex plot, a large cast of characters, and series of issues together –not an easy thing to do–in his play.
A big shout-out, too, to Repertorio Español, its talented cast, its tireless devoted staff and directors, its commitment to keep the culture and history and language of our origin cultures and countries alive and vibrant in this new country. Its amazing outreach to students, both of Latino background and not. Especially in times like these when many in the Latino community are feeling beset, unwelcomed, and undervalued, the work of this theatre is an important reminder of the richness and importance of our Hispanic/Latino presence in this country.”
For tickets visit, https://goo.gl/aQiF2V