MECA presents Sor Juana and the Chambered Nautilus
Sor Juana & the Chambered Nautilus, an original 80-minute multimedia theater production written and performed by Angeles Romero, brings to life Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th Century Mexican nun known for her voracious drive for knowledge and an exceptional genius as a writer.
The play dramatizes the existential conversation Sor Juana has with herself as she attempts to build a self-defense argument against charges of transgression brought by the Inquisition. After an arduous night of self examination she chooses to confront her own shortcomings and ultimately defend not only her own interest in worldly learning, but also the broad rights of women to an education and an unfettered life of the mind.
In this new staging of the play, originally performed by Ángeles Romero in Columbus, Ohio in 2003, an intimately poetic and thought-provoking performance monologue is brought to life with immediacy and a sense of great urgency reflecting on contemporary concerns about civil liberties, women’s rights, and abusive institutions of power and privilege governing our lives. The performance, directed by renowned theatre artist Dianne K. Webb, extends Romero’s previous artistic forays into women’s lives (Frida Kahlo and Malinche). It uses a unique interactive style that integrates monologues with video projections, offering an intensely unsettling, yet uplifting portrait that has nightmarish ritualistic qualities mixed with cosmological dreams.
After experiencing the play, the audience will be invited to participate in a Q&A focused on gender discrimination and violence against women.