On Friday, August 20, 2010, the Puerto Rican Athenaeum Theater Company will perform the world premiere of Bruja de Dios [Witch of God], written and directed by playwright Roberto Ramos-Perea. This new play is “a metaphor of today’s Puerto Rico [framed] in the repressive and demented world of the 19th century.”
The state of affairs after the violent events provoked by the political and social struggles of contemporary Puerto Rico requires analysis and reflection from artistic perspectives. In this analysis one can say that much of today’s situation may be explained by yesterday’s; therefore the playwright takes us back to 1887, the year of the terrible tortures known as “compontes,” through which the government of Spanish dictator Romualdo Palacio repressed and persecuted the seeds of separatism and autonomy in our founding but painful 19th century.
Bruja de Dios begins when a young woman is raped by Governor Palacio during one of the dances hosted by his estate in Aibonito. To hide the atrocity and the accusations of the young woman, she is taken to the insane asylum of San Juan, where she is considered to be mad. A psychiatrist tries to find the reasons for her “hysteria” by using new theories developed by a young Austrian named Sigmund Freud. Between doctor and patient will develop a highly emotional, sexual, and political tension that will shatter the foundations of what once was thought to be the strong and solid relationship among Puerto Ricans.
About his work, Ramos-Perea says: “With Bruja de Dios I speak of today’s cowardice and courage. I speak of convenience against dignity, of deceit against ingenuity, I speak of Utopia, of solidarity and hope; and I think that national theater, coming to the rescue of the history of the nation that gave rise to it, may explain what is happening to us in this present so devastated by barbarity.”
Bruja de Dios will be staged at the Athenaeum Theater in San Juan over three weekends, starting on August 20, 2010, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm. Due to the strong sexual content in some scenes, the work is not suitable for minors. For more information you may call (787) 977-2307. For media, please contact Angela Mari at (787) 444-7747 or write to Menades8@gmail.com.
Also see http://www.teatrodelateneo.com/
Image: “La Folle” [The Madwoman, 1919], by Chaim Soutine, from http://www.abcgallery.com/S/soutine/soutine34.html