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Making Political Theater in Cuba

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Revolutions don’t aspire to crush certain parts of a whole,
to make society uniform or to establish the preeminence of a single group, class
or caste: “They aspire to become the labor of love, to link all of a country’s real factors in mutual tolerance and productive action.”
– Jose Marti

By Lynn Cruz

HAVANA TIMES — After my furious state in front of the police and State security forces, when they tried to prevent my play “Enemies of the People” from making its debut (I say “tried” because, in spite of the pain it caused to have to bid farewell to all my guests, the play was performed for the only two people who had managed to enter), everyone is advising me to calm down; and in order to do this, they console me with this overused phrase: “You can’t fix the world.”

It’s not that I don’t think they’re right, I just refuse to uphold such a conformist way of thinking, I’m “anti-conformist by genetical design.”

I’m also not trying to do something as ambitious as “fixing this world.” My dreams are simple. I aspire to live in a new Cuba where, one day, sooner rather than later, a multi-party system is accepted as well as freedom of expression, precisely so everyone has the right to publicly manifest their individuality without becoming a dissident in doing so.

In 2009, I traveled to Germany to work with the independent theater group Pig’s Appeal, directed by Petra Lammers, in Dusseldorf. It was a political play by Heiner Muller, which had been adapted by the young playwright Fiona Ebner. It was the first time I experienced what it meant to make theater within a democracy. Before, the directors I had worked with usually ended up being dictators, as things in theater often operate just as they do........

© Havana Times