I developed “¡Qué felices son las Barbies!” as part of an actor's workshop that the renowned Public Theatre created for Latino actors wanting to write and perform their own material.
At that time I was going through various personal challenges. I was struggling to find my identity in “big-bad” New York City, as a white, green eyed Puertorican woman with a thick Spanish accent unable to work anywhere because I could not fit into any “category” set by the media. I was either too “white” to pass as latina, or too “heavily accented” to pass as “white." ¡Madre mía!
This led me to question and confront where those categories came from and why are they still so crucial. Also, I started to question such notions as: “ideal beauty," “perfect beauty” and the so called: “American beauty." After a fair share of “soul searching," I was able to put into perspective my relationship with that imposed external world and its effects.
We and our children are exposed and constantly bombarded in our daily lives with messages from all sources about the ideals of self-image, perfect style and ideal beauty. All this stimulation can have a very negative effect. In my personal case, it was the imaginary world created by playing with Barbies.
A love/hate relationship suddenly came to my attention. For many years I had been loving and at the same time hating that doll, while in some very strange way I was also been manipulated by what she represented (or at the very least, what it represented to me at that time): being a perfect woman. She seemed to have everything “some” women (or a lot of women, depending on who you ask) wanted. Why, she must be so happy!
I then decided to play around with that idea and something else that was always puzzling to me: the relationships between men and women (or women and men.) Can it possibly be that true love is only available for “perfect women”? For strange beautiful creatures who look like Barbies? Also, do we have to have a perfect Ken in our lives? Hold it! Hold it!... We don’t even know if “perfect” Ken is even interested in women? Well… nobody is perfect.
“¡Qué felices son las Barbies!” is the outcome of that quest in trying to address these questions and notions. This project grew out of a personal journey, and I am so grateful to share it with a highly talented and creative team. They are:
Mario Colón - Director
José Furito Ríos - Musical Composer and Arranger
Harry Nadal - Costume Design
Chris Cancel - Set & Light Design
Jorge “Fish” Rodríguez - Visuals
Frank Rodríguez - Sound Design
Edna de Jesús - Make Up Design
Nicole Betancourt - Assistant Director
Daniel Irizarry - Stage Combat Coach
This play will be performed in Spanish with simultaneous English translation.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP?
The goal is to create the highest quality production possible and share it with all potential audiences. I want "¡Qué felices son las Barbies!" to stimulate, empower, challenge perception as well as to entertain and create a valuable experience for all. I am honored to have been invited to co-produce the show for a limited time at the prestigious Spanish Repertory Theatre in NYC, and I need your support in making it possible. Your support will ensure our goal. The Kickstarter campaign will be used to cover only the technical aspect of the show including:
Materials to build the set
Materials to create the costumes
And other miscellaneous
It is a fact that the Spanish Repertory Theatre is well known for always bringing "top-notch" productions to its legendary location at 27th and Lex and my intention is to bring a show that's not only funny and thought provoking, but also a show that has excellent production value, something we can all feel proud of, but, most important, we want to do all this for you, the audience... we want to share our work because we know that it's relevant and because we love making people laugh.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
Kickstarter is “all or nothing." That means that if we do not reach our goal of $5,000, we get $0, nothing, nada, niente! Help us make this project a reality. Join the team to bring "¡Qué felices son las Barbies!" to the stage. You will be giving voice to issues that affect all of us while helping to provide an unforgettable cultural experience. If we reach our $5,000 goal after 30 days, your payment will be processed and I will receive the funding, minus 10%. Backing us is easy. Kickstarter is linked to Amazon.com which makes the payment process painless and most importantly, secure. You will all be producers of this fun and important production!
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
- Spread the word! Post this link on your Facebook page, send e-mails with personal notes, tweet it, call friends… be creative! (God knows I’m trying to be writing this!)
- Buy your tickets and come to see the show at the Spanish Repertory Theatre (Repertorio Español), starting March 6th. Remember, it is a limited engagement so don’t wait too long!
Go to www.repertorio.org/barbies for more details on dates and ticket sales.
Risks and challenges
Every production comes with its own set of risks. All I can say is that I also come with my own set of "solutions". And the challenges can be many. One of them (and one that I embrace with joy!) is not only to bring a "good product" to a prestigious theatre such as the Spanish Repertory Theatre, but something that is relevant, thought-provoking and funny.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)