Women's presence in Cuban theatre

When mentioning Cuban theater, people simply referred to "Alhambra." Amalia Sorg was among the women who performed on that stage. The testimonial novel Canción de Rachel (Rachel's Song) by Miguel Barnet, and the subsequent film adaptation under the title La bella del Alhambra directed by Enrique Pineda Barnet were both based on her life.Drama actress Enriqueta Sierra, born in Santa Clara, stands out among the few women who managed to shine outside the Alhambra, in this period of hardship for Cuban theater. She worked with the Cuban Theatre Company, founded in 1915.Then there seems to be a gap in the dramatic tradition. Women almost disappear from the Cuban stage. Some of the plays by José Antonio Ramos, who represents the first generation of playwrights in the period of the Republic, reflect the theme of gender equality and female discrimination. Among his works are Nanda, written in 1908, and Liberta, in 1911.But after this major crisis, Cuban theater does not die; it evolves and brings back with it the creative work of women in this area. With the Revolution, the theater environment obtains its own identity. The theme of the social problems of the female gender solidifies in plays and, little by little, women gain ground in theater.When talking about women in Cuban theater, there are still various criteria and conflicts. Unquestionably, they are most visible in acting since throughout history, women have participated in this medium. However, they have not participated much in dramaturgy and direction, to the point that some question whether or not there exists female dramaturgy.But yes, women exist who write plays for the theater, although it is not the most abundant. But of course there is female dramaturgy. To doubt this is to deny the evolution and integration of women in this highly complex medium.Simply the truth will out. Women are found in all facets of the theater and their number is increasingly growing from different perspectives, not only in acting or makeup.It is true that there are not many women playwrights or stage directors, but their importance and contributions to Cuban theater over the years should not be denied. That is why it is essential to legitimize the presence of women in the theater, to address the theme of gender equality onstage, to give them the space they deserve and to show their problems. In short, to achieve the enhancement of women on the stage.Currently, events such as Magdalena sin Fronteras, Escena con Aroma de Mujer or La Escritura de la Diferencia stimulate and exalt the artistic work of women in Cuba and the world; and gradually insert them in the space they truly deserve. Referring to the new boom that is developing in Cuban theater regarding the creation of special projects involving women, critic and playwright Esther Suárez once said, "It's like a volcano, it begins to boil by itself."Today, women's footprints can be found throughout Cuban theater. Some work on costume and makeup, while others dominate the stage with the best performances. There are also women directors, assistant directors, playwrights, graphic designers and those in charge of music. In short, the whole theater is pervaded by the scent of women, flooded with females who make the theatrical world a totally authentic place.The play ends and the rounds of applause fill the room. The women there, in the audience, feel identified. They like the fact that gender equality has been addressed in the theatrical text. "I wish there were more plays like this," someone says as he leaves the room. Lights out and everything goes back to normal. But the scent of the female sex remains in the theater, and on the Cuban stage it is impossible to erase the traces of women. "Certainly more plays like this will be written," the stage whispers.

Original article on www.cubanow.net