Drama lovers rejoice! A new theatre production is in full swing.
In light of the recent DACA news and immigration fears faced by Latinx individuals, it’s inspiring to see the theatre department producing Josefina López’s “Real Women Have Curves” for their spring performance in the Studio Theatre, directed by B.J. Dodge.
The play follows Ana Garcia, portrayed by third-year theater student Samantha Avila, who is coaxed by her mother to work in her sister’s sewing factory in September of 1987 in East Los Angeles.
Ana is looking to further her education at a university and believes herself a feminist with progressive beliefs, which go against ideals held by her conservative mother, Carmen.
“[“Real Women Have Curves”] is about what the definition of a woman is,” Avila said.
There are a total of five women working in the factory run by Ana’s sister, Estella.
They all hold different beliefs because of their different ages and life experiences, but the actors also have different experiences from the roles they play.
“What was difficult for me was not judging Carmen,” said fifth-year theater student Janeth Garcia, who takes on Carmen’s role. “She says a lot of things I don’t agree with.”
One of the themes in the play is about progressive ideas within a family that work together.
It is a constant conflict for the women since they are constantly together and under pressure from their buyers.
The women face living in a society that not only looks down at them because they are women, but also their Latina immigration status.
“My character is undocumented and I’ve never had the struggle of being taken away,” said fifth-year theater student and actress for Estella, Yovanna Quintero. “When I hear “la migra,” it’s different than how it is for my character. [They’ve] established a life there and this is what they are scared of.”
The characters also deal with body image and how it affects their confidence in sexual relationships.
Fad diets and eating disorders are present in these women’s lives and for anyone who has experienced these issues, they can find support in others just like the women in the play.
The definition of a woman does not come from her ability to bear children.
Pancha, portrayed by Alma Bacerra, is a woman who struggles with her identity after she is unable to conceive children.
All of these themes are tackled in the two-act play which opened on Thursday night.
The show contains moments when the characters are speaking Spanish, but the dialogue is easy to follow along.
“I don’t speak Spanish, but throughout this experience I was allowed to learn, relate and appreciate the culture,” said Raelene Hernandez, a fifth-year theater and business student who plays Rosali.
The authentic set design and props are thanks to the hard work of the crew and to dramaturge Rebecca Ojeda, a fourth-year theater education and community student.
Ojeda’s job is to provide the actresses and designers with accurate historical information and “better understand the world of the play.”
She serves as a historical fact checker, to make sure the ply is as immersive as possible.
Those of us who enjoy drama concerning socio-racial issues should dash to the box office to claim their tickets to this thought provoking production.
“Real Women Have Curves” continues on Thursday and runs until Saturday with a showing at 8 p.m. A matinee performance will also take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets are $10 for students and faculty of Cal Poly Pomona with a general admission ticket of $15.
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