“Tears for Llorona” was performed in November at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa, Idaho. The play was written and directed by Patricia Marcantonio and is a retelling of the old Mexican ghost story about a creature who roams the night looking for her lost children. The performance was funded by a grant from the Alexa Rose Foundation and with support from the Hispanic Cultural Center.
It was also made possible by the efforts of many including the cast, crew, and center volunteers.
Tonight is the premiere of my first play, Tears for Llorona. This is so exciting to see my words come to life.
However, the process was a challenge.
About two years ago, Carolyn White with the Magic Valley Arts Council, asked me to consider writing a play with Latino themes and culture to open at the new Twin Falls Center for the Arts. Although I have written screenplays, I had never tackled a play.
I decided to adapt one of my short stories of the same name. In my retelling of the well known Mexican tale of Llorona-the weeping woman, I told the story from the mother’s point of view and what happened in a Mexican village many years ago.
For the play, I also decided to add a modern intro and ending.
I sat down to write. Immediately, I found that writing a play was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
Unlike screenplays, where you can rely on special effects and in books where you can just end a chapter, everything I needed had to be accomplished on stage.
Moving people around the stage also was daunting. Thanks to my friend Laried Montgomery, a veteran of Broadway, for helping me learn stage left from upstage, and so on. During the rehearsal process, I also have learned a lot from how James Haycock is directing the play.
The challenge was worth it. Actors are giving life to my words, they are telling my story.
So what is the moral to all this? As writers we must face challenges and meet them head on. We must try new things. If I had been too frightened to try, I would never have written my play of which I am proud.
Take a chance in your writing. Meet a challenge.