When I saw the name Yemaya’s Belly while looking on the Cara Mia website, I was intrigued. Yemaya is a part of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria so I immediately did a bit of research on this piece. It is currently running at the Cara Mia theatre in Dallas (it will end on March 19, 2017). This piece uses music, poetry and songs that come from Santeria, a religion of many African Caribbean (in which Yemaya is a central deity), to create an important story that all audiences need to see right now.
YEMAYA’S BELLY By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Marisela Barrera
Original Music Score by S-Ankh Rasa
March 4 – 19, 2017
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak
Dallas, Texas 75204
A boy is born into a humble farming family on a Latin American island, but after his first taste of a cold Coca-Cola, he dreams of a world beyond his family’s meager acre. Yemaya’s Belly follows the boy’s epic journey into manhood and materialism, from farm to city, to a raft sailing to the north to meet the “President of America”.
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Water by the Spoonful and a collaborator with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) on the musical In The Heights, Quiara Alegría Hudes creates an unflinching view of the struggle to reach the United States of America through whimsy and brutal honesty (via Cara Mia).
“Quiara Alegria Hudes is a playwright, composer, and performer from West Philadelphia. Her plays include Yemaya’s Belly, The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! and Holy Broth. Her work has been crafted at South Coast Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, the New Group, Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center. Her honors include the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latina Playwriting Award, the International Women’s Playwriting Festival, the Weston Prize, the Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, and first and second prizes in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival.
As a performer, Hudes premiered her solo play Coconut Therapy in a sold-out run at the 2002 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and earned herself the title “Boricua Alternativa!” in the Philadelphia Spanish-language press.
Quiara is the 2004-05 Playwriting Fellow at Page Seventy Three Productions to develop Elliot (A Soldier’s Fugue), exploring three generations of Latino men in the United States military. She is writing the book for a new salsa hip-hop musical In the Heights, currently in development at Manhattan Theatre Club. She was recently commissioned to write a new play for South Coast Repertory in California. She holds a M.F.A in playwriting from Brown. (via Playbill)”