Solly Dreams in Spanish

Lead artist: Alexandra espinoza

Collaborator: virginia sanchez

Solly Dreams in Spanish is a seedling of a play that is about three generations of an Afro-Latinx family. A middle-aged daughter named Soledad (but everyone calls her Solly) returns to the country where she was born, to say good bye to a mother whose death is imminent and whom she hasn’t seen since early childhood. Solly’s daughter, from whom she is semi-estranged, has been living in the country for several months, working as a political operative in a burgeoning radical political movement. While this constitutes the bones of the play, its spirit comes from my own experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx-American, an identity rife with discoveries and displacements. Solly Dreams in Spanish is my attempt to explore elements of the Afro-Latinx identity, both in the context of Latin America (or most specifically Venezuela, in my own personal biography) and in the context of the United States, where my lived experience of being Afro-Latinx has often felt like a siloed one. This summer I will collaborate with Virginia Sanchez, a visual artist, community organizer, theatre mom, and Santeria practitioner. I believe that my three characters are the descendants of Guiomar, an Afro-Venezuelan folk hero whose husband led a slave rebellion in 1552. I also believe that Guiomar wielded powerful magic that she has passed down to my characters. Virginia’s vast knowledge of indigenous and African religious practices in her native Puerto Rico will be the bedrock of our work together, as I start to integrate these practices into the lives of my characters.