THE MADRES, IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
The multi-award-winning play The Madres, by North American playwright Stephanie Alison Walker, will receive its non-U.S. premiere in San Miguel, as the 2018 full production of La Troupe México. This powerful new five-character play, set in Buenos Aires in 1978, will be performed for the first time in Spanish. The play centers on one family, and addresses the theme of Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, an international icon of the resistance. During the Argentinean Dirty War of 1976-1983, a seven-year campaign by the military dictatorship, thousands of suspected dissidents and subversives simply disappeared in the middle of the night. The “Madres” were a group of brave women who marched every Thursday afternoon around the May pyramid in front of the government house, demanding to know the whereabouts of their missing children.
Walker’s play centers on Josefina Acosta (Laura Crotte) whose granddaughter Belén (Julieta Rodríguez Barajas), pregnant with her first child, is among the disappeared. The family clings to the fiction that she is living in Paris with her husband. The girl’s mother, Carolina (Pamela Cordero) is a militant who has joined the Madres on their Thursday marches, but Josefina is deeply conservative, and believes her family must at least pretend to support the regime, to preserve their own safety and that of Belén. And she strongly objects to Carolina’s marching with the Madres.
But her convictions are being steadily worn down by events and the seeming betrayals of those around her. The well-meaning but equivocating priest Padre Juan (Antonino del Valle) urges conformity. And her former neighbor, Diego (Rodrigo Demian), who was enamored of Belén till she rejected him, has become a soldier and a fanatical supporter of the repressive regime, and seems willing to use his power to wreak his revenge on Belén and her husband.
Walker says of her play: “I was inspired by these women – the first to stand up and call out the dictatorship at great risk. They used their voices to bring the world’s attention to what was happening in Argentina and they never gave up. It’s a complicated period and one that the world should know about. I am a character-driven storyteller and as such, this play is about the characters more than it is a ‘history play.’ It’s a play about a family set in a specific moment in history. I hope it entertains, horrifies, challenges and ultimately inspires audiences. Though this play is about a difficult and dark subject, it’s filled with moments of hope and joy and humor. Because that’s what we do. We humans. It’s how we survive.”
Las Madres will be presented at the San Miguel Playhouse with projected supertitles in English.
La Troupe México is the first bilingual performing arts company in San Miguel de Allende, a city renowned for its history and culture, where English and Spanish-speaking communities have coexisted for just under a century. The company’s mission is the use theater – “The voice of the people,” in the words of Emilio Carballido; or, as Arthur Miller put it, “where humanity confronts itself” – to create a shared artistic experience for both communities. For this reason, we choose to produce works that invite a deep reflection of the human condition.