By Diana Burbano, Chris Shelton and Tom Shelton
Translated by Emiro Burbano
Directed by Jay Marie Padilla
Lily Hernandez & David Wade McCoy in Silueta. Photo by Julio Samayoa
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2016 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Passion, art and love make for great drama, am I right? Diana Burbano’s Silueta explores these elements within the mysterious death of conceptual artist Ana Mendieta at the hands of minimalist artist Carl Andre. In this current production by Teatro Tercera Llamada, this play, comprised of monologue and flashbacks, urgently seeks answers and redemption for a 30-year-old murder that remains as fresh and misunderstood as Mendieta’s artwork.
In Jay Marie Padilla’s director’s notes, she mentions that the idea for a bilingual script and seeking the approval of playwright Diana Burbano to perform the play as such. A bold, commendable choice, the language difference between Mendieta (performed in Spanish by Lily Hernandez) and Andre (in English by David Wade McCoy – double cast with Michael Harris) greatly emphasizes the lover’s artistic contrasts and tensions. With each argument and struggle they face as a couple, the difference in language underscores the massive void in his or her shared experiences; a void that grows as Andre leads Mendieta to her tragic, bitter end.
Hernandez brings a fierce spirit to Ana Mendota as she haunts and challenges Andre. Her monologue about the Taino Venus is gripping, filled with mysterious foreshadowing, while her speech about Mendieta’s childhood home in Fidel Castro’s Cuba reflects the plight of the immigrant in uncertain times. McCoy’s Carl Andre is very likable despite his stubbornness and self-absorption. Serving as narrator, McCoy moves the story along with charming energy, creating a balanced chemistry with Hernandez’s Ana.
I have always thought that good art stems from the ability to challenge expectation, and I applaud Teatro Tercera Llamada’s production of Silueta for achieving this very notion. My knowledge of both Mendieta’s career and the Spanish language may be regretfully limited in comparison to my fellow audience members, so I was stepping in perhaps unknown territory. By the end of the performance, all expectations were dashed away and I was simply enthralled by a story as provocative as Ana Mendieta’s cutting edge work.
Each performance contains subtitles in English and Spanish.
October 27-30, November 3-7, 2016
Teatro Tercera Llamada
South 6th Street
Louisville KY 40203
Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for LEO Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!