Broken Words, a new play written and directed by Alejandra Ramos Riera, is at Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Concourse, The Bronx, Friday-Saturday, April 5-6, 2019. Suggested donation $7
Julia, a young woman living in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, decides not to speak again. Encouraged by her neighbors, her mother commits Julia to a psychiatric institution.
Wrestling with the ins and outs of colonialism, mental illness, and institutionalization, Julia tries to mend episodes from her past while dealing with her relationship with her mother.
As the story progresses, madness becomes a puzzle, and its pieces can only be set into place by Julia, just like the broken words flowing in her chattered mind.
Broken Words Cast
The cast is Nicole Betancourt, Omar Pérez, Mónica Steuer and Thalia Romina.
Alejandra Ramos Riera
Ramos Riera is an artist in residence at Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
She is a New York-based Puerto Rican playwright and director. Ramos Riera is the co-founder of Teatro en la Azotea and author of the book En la Azotea – 10 piezas cortas de teatro.
This is what we need. Since Hamilton became the Broadway hit of our generation, the Broadway world is more open to the next great Latin playwright. We just need more people to try and get experience.
Broken Words Tickets
Tickets are available at the door. The suggested donation is $7.
This is community theater. Since we are the community, let’s make sure Broken Words opens to a full house. Space is limited so RSVP is recommended.
RSVP and get more information at pregonesprtt.org
Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
575 Walton Ave, The Bronx, New York 10451
(between 149th and 150th St)
Concourse, The Bronx
(2) (4) (5) to 149th St – Grand Concourse
Walk one block west on 149th St and one block north on Walton Ave
Thoughts on Broken Words
I haven’t seen or read the play, but this is an interesting premise.
Health or sickness of the mind often derives from our childhood experiences. The experiences of our surroundings, our family, and our own youthful lives mark us for the rest of our days. That’s why we need to end abuse and we need to end war.
Subconsciously we spend much of our adult lives trying to heal the wounds of childhood. It doesn’t matter whether the wounds were inflicted intentionally or not. You can even have the most loving parents on the planet, the most wonderful childhood, and still grow up wounded.
Maybe it’s nature’s way of forcing the human mind to evolve. Just like physical evolution, mistakes are introduced into the mind. Some turn out for better and are passed to the next generation. Some turn out for worse and don’t reproduce. At least you hope they don’t reproduce.
A domineering mother (like many Latina Moms) can be suffocating. But when you get older, you realize that all those things Mom told you to do like get a good night’s rest, eat healthy and not too much, exercise, don’t do alcohol/drugs, be careful of the opposite sex, work hard, get an education, have friends and a spiritual life, are essential to living well. Mom was right even though we didn’t want to hear it.
It’s human nature to blame others for our problems. That’s almost always our first reaction. From living through my own mistakes, I learned never to trust anger. It’s a false emotion. Anger is something that I messed up, that I don’t want to accept, so I try to blame somebody else. Staying angry means I will not solve my own problems. That is crazy.
In the end, nobody can heal us, but ourselves. Being enslaved, colonized or crazy can be physical states, but can also be states of mind. You can be a slave, imprisoned or institutionalized and still be free. Or you can be free, but be a slave or prisoner to your own emotions.
Part of the game in these situations is to get you upset because when you are upset, you don’t think rationally and are more easily controlled.
True independence requires a lot of cool. It also requires forgiveness. In the words of Cuban R&B rapper Danay Suarez “Que tiene mucho valor que de perdones, Pero mas perdonar” (It’s good to be forgiven, but better to forgive).
“Que tiene mucho valor que de perdones, Pero mas perdonar”
‘Yo Aprendi’ Danay Suarez, Kobalt Music Publishing
Sometimes madness is chemical and there isn’t much you can do about it. But sometimes, it’s a choice and then the choice is up to you.
As the musician Prince once said, “What you think is true.”