La bruja monja [videorecording] = The demon's nun
Summary: Video documentation of ‘La Bruja Monja’ (‘The Demon’s Nun’), followed by Q&A, performed during the 4th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, celebrated in July of 2003 in New York, United States, under the title ‘Spectacles of Religiosities.’ ‘The Demon’s Nun’ is a piece by two Mayan playwrights, Petrona de la Cruz and Isabel Juárez Espinoza, who are also founder and current members of FOMMA, a women’s collective in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The protagonist is a woman named Domitila whose husband, a drinker and a lecher, complains that she never wants to have sex; instead, she directs her erotic longings toward the divine: a luminous angel who appears in her dreams, and the santitos or small statues of saints to whom she prays. The Demon’s Nun offers a humorous view of very serious issues—violence against women, limited educational opportunities, alcoholism, and abuse by priests.
Summary: Petrona de la Cruz and Isabel Juárez Espinosa are Mayan Indian playwrights and actresses from Chiapas, Mexico. Pioneers in theatre and social justice in their country, in 1994 they formed the women’s cooperative FOMMA, to empower displaced Indian women and children through workshops in bilingual education (Tzotzil/Tzeltal and Spanish) health programs, job skills and theatre. They have performed in small communities throughout Chiapas as well as at universities and festivals abroad. Forced to leave their native villages at an early age, they became maids in the neighboring mestizo city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. In the 1980s they went to work at the fledging Indian writers' cooperative, Sna Jtz'bajom. It was there they became interested in theatre and received training from Ralph Lee of the Metawee River Theatre Company. They have subsequently worked with several other teachers including Amy Trompetter and Luis de Tavira.
Credits: Diana Taylor, commentator ; Petrona de la Cruz Cruz, Isabel Juárez Espinoza, performers.