Thursday November 23rd 2017

“Quita Mitos” at What’s Next Lab-Next Theatre Company

Recommended  Theater audiences, entering a new play, have little understanding of the work that goes into the creation of the product that is placed before them. It is a long and difficult process. The playwright takes their ideas and puts it on paper- then they workshop it with readings, and then they redo it and do it again. At one point, along this journey, they may get an opportunity to do a staged reading ( actors still walking around with scripts, but now they have some set and props) and then, with the help of some of  the local theater companies, they get an opportunity to showcase the newest version of their play with actors, a director, lighting, sound and as near to a real production as you can get. Next Theatre Company in Evanston has a new event -What’s Next Lab- where currently four suc plays are being worked; “As Fat As You Can”, “In Loco Parentis”, “Start Fair in The Common Race” and Tanya Saracho’s “Quitas Mitos” which I was asked to view today.

Directed under the skillful eye of Ricardo Gutierrez, Ms Saracho’s story of three Mexican women, all at different stages of their lives who tell us their story from a cheap hotel room. Alejandra ( a strong performance by Angelica Acebedo-Frint) who appears to be running away from her upper class life and her cheating husband. She is upset with the type-casting people place on her because she is Mexican and lives better than they do. She prefers that people not judge her for what she is but rather for who she is and defines the problems that she has had in her life, away from what she was raised to be. The second story is about Gracie ( deftly handled by Brenda Arellano) a woman who is about to meet the son that her boyfriend had with another woman. While he loves her, he doesn’t find her his sexual equal. he is a bit heavy and feels that this may be why he has affairs and is unhappy with her life and the fact that she must learn to be a sort of mother to her boyfriends son with no knowledge of how to do this; the third story in this 90 minute production is that of Connie ( a solid performance by Brenda Arellano), a young beautiful woman who does not feel that she is a Latina, but rather, an American. She has left her home in Chicago to visit family in Texas for the holidays. All of these women are running from something; their pasts, their heritage and their history, but where are they running to? What will their future be? Will they become more American or return to their roots?

                                                                                              

Each performance has its own power in expression of what it is that causes us to come to a place where we are no longer comfortable with what and where we are. There are “walls” in our lives- walls that can grow higher if we allow them to , but can be scaled if we reduce the number of bricks. Each of s must decide if we need to get over the wall or allow it to keep us in our place. Knowing the way Ms. Saracho works, I am pretty sure that this play will be reworked and reworked until she finds all the answers that bring solutions to each of these stories that she is comfortable with. She is a writer that gets it right before it is placed into a full production. I recall going to a reading of this play when she herself did all three roles, and as I have seen in the past, it has matured with the changes she has made and by the time you read that “Quita Mitos” is being performed at one of our major theaters, I can guarantee it will be up to her standards and an entertaining theatrical experience.

There is one more performance of this production on March 16th at 7:30 p.m. at Next Theatre Company located at 927 Noyes in Evanston ( just East of Ridge Avenue and north of downtown) Tickets for this show or for any of the others, $20. To purchase call 847-475-1875 or online, where you can also learn more about the other shows- www.nexttheatr.org

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