“Soy Una Mujer” (“I am a Woman”) is scheduled for April 18 through April 20, and April 25 through April 27 at the Bard’s Town Theatre.
I spoke with renaissance man Francisco Juarez about the upcoming production, the arts in Louisville, and what the future holds for Louisville’s growing community of Latin-American artists.
Juarez, a radio producer, engineer, actor, and director originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico, has spent the last few years organizing groups to educate the community about Latin American music, poetry, literature, film and Mexican culture in general.
Now Juarez has taken the reins of El Delirio Producciones, Louisville’s first and only Spanish-language theater troupe.
“The show is called ‘Soy Una Mujer,’ and it consists of three monologues, all of which have female protagonists” Juarez said. “The monologues are ‘Selaginela’ and ‘Parasitas’ by Mexican playwright Emilio Carballido, and ‘La Reina en su Casa’ by Italian author Dario Fo.”
The show is true community theater.
“The majority of us in Delirio are not professional actors, as is the case with ‘Soy Una Mujer.’ The show features three actors, Angie Williams and Angélica Muños from Colombia, and Haydee Canovas, who is Cuban-American. Behind the scenes, we have stage manager Maria Mander Mariátegui from Argentina, and Elizabeth Perello Alarcón from Chile.”
When asked if non-Spanish speakers would be able to enjoy the show as well, Juarez gave an unqualified ‘yes.’ “The show is directed at the general public; to Spanish speakers, but also to students and professors of Spanish and to anyone interested in the theater.
“The works of Emilio Carballido and Dario Fo are characterized by scenes of everyday life which are universal. Furthermore, we will provide translated scripts, so that English speakers can follow along during the show,” he said.
I asked Juarez if Louisville’s sizeable Latin American population finds itself disenfranchised from mainstream arts events in Louisville.
“Without a doubt, people who cannot speak English are limited,” he said. “For bilingual Hispanics, it is much easier to succeed not only in the arts but also in other activities. I’ve encountered a lot of local Hispanic talent since getting involved in this project, and not only in the theater arts, but also visual artists and musicians who are seeking opportunities to display their talents.”
Nonetheless, Juarez sees Louisville as a “city of tolerance and acceptance not only toward the Hispanic community, but also to other groups of immigrants and refugees from other parts of the world.
“Louisville is like a blank slate where a lot can be done with the arts in general, and there is a great opportunity for would-be pioneers.”
“Soy Una Mujer” runs April 18 through April 20, and April 25 through April 27 at the Bard’s Town Theatre, 1801 Bardstown Rd.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. each night.