THE LIBERATION OF CARMELA LOPEZ BY MARISEL VERA
ABOUT THE PLAY
The coming-of-age story of Carmela, a witty, strong-willed young Puerto Rican girl growing up in Chicago's Humboldt Park in the 1970s, The Liberation of Carmela Lopez is a beautiful, incendiary and acutely relevant exploration of one girl's struggle to become the person she wants to be. Throughout the story, she grows to confront cultural expectations about her sexuality, familial demands of her future, and her own visions of relationships, reality, and her very self.
This dramatic adaptation of the unpublished novel by author Marisel Vera was an utterly ensemble-based process, staged in the chamber theatre tradition, with full exploration of narration, movement, and sound. I also pulled on principles of Grotowski's "poor theatre," working with the cast to create the multiple worlds and locations of Carmela through the almost exclusive use of exposition boxes and bodies in space.