• Paula J Leon

How I left feeling after a virtual reading of Simply Maria

Simply Maria Presented by the Latinx Artists Collective

On august 2nd, 7pm EST I had the opportunity to view a virtual play, being read on zoom put on by the Latinx Artists Collective. In so many words I can say wow. I didn't realise how much I needed this.

Being away from my family and friends during the covid-19 pandemic, I didn't realise how much I missed the Latinx community. The Latinx Artists Collective rendition of Simply Maria written by Josefina López and directed by Francine Torres was so full of life, charisma, and hilarious caricatures of Latinx culture. López's satirical play highlights the issues with Machismo and the pressure to conform to society's expectations of women. Growing up, many latina's were told they needed to be lady like, that they will one day be a mother who holds their family together and they must keep their man happy.

Luckily female independence and empowerment is growing, however machismo is still fairly present. As parents may encourage their kids to go off to the best school possible, they'll still tell their daughters to be ladylike or be asked if they have a man yet. However the amount of love and support, from 102 participants, for the actors once the show ended embodied the sense of family and orguilla within the Latinx community. The actors did a great job, bringing to life all these characters, having fun with their roles, especially the most heightened ones. The members of the collective held a talk back after, where they explained that in their training teachers hardly recommend any material written by latinx writers usually all white people. Therefore they're hoping this collective will bring enough latinx's together to finally have enough works written by people like us.

When a piece of theatre hits so close to home, it makes us miss our families even more. As the covid-19 pandemic forces individuals, like me, to be separated from those we call family, we must find ways to bring parts of our heritage with us. So I sit here in my peruvian llama sweater, con un doña pepa, and consume all the latinx art I can. Maybe there'll be a show with peruvian characters one day, or maybe I'll just have to write one.

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