Women of Juarez: Behind the Play and Auditions

Samuel+Vidaca+marking+his+monologue+for+the+Woman+of+Juarez+play+callbacks+on+August+19.+He+will+be+appearing+as+the+first+narrator.+Photo+credit%3A+Benjamin+Garcia

Samuel Vidaca marking his monologue for the Woman of Juarez play callbacks on August 19. He will be appearing as the first narrator. Photo credit: Benjamin Garcia

Benjamin Garcia and Alvaro Bayona

The Studio Theater auditions were held for Women of Juarez directed by adjunct Theater professor Minerva Garcia.

On Wednesday Aug. 17 auditions were held with callbacks in the same room on the following day.

The play is written by Rubén Amavizca-Murúa and is being dedicated to the community of hispanic students on campus and the young women and their families being affected.

“The play deals with the murders of the women in Ciudad, Mexico; right across the border from El Paso. Since 1993 close to 800 women have been brutally murdered. Nobody knows if it was a serial killer, several killers, or who is exactly responsible for all these murders. Most of these women were working at (the factories), the multi-national corporations that made products for the US market. That’s the mystery revolving around this event,”Who killed all these women?

Explained the director Minerva Garcia who also said the play was selected to be put on at Cerritos College for “a younger set here who might not be aware the situation” and that it explores themes of misogyny and rape culture.

Another factor in the decision was the number of roles available for not only the leading actors but for those in supporting roles that are interesting to work with, making the cast a cohesive ensemble as seen before in Balm and Gilead.

“I am associated with it because I work for the Frida Kahlo theater and I know he playwright. As a matter of fact I got him his first grant to put on the play.” continued the director before telling how the the writer, Rubén Amavizca-Murúa is glad that a college is putting on the play after so many showings at a wide array of professional venues, continued Garcia.”

The audition was refreshing and challenging for many students who auditioned, such as Theater Arts major Rebecca Valenzuela and three-time performer at Cerritos College, who said:

“I’ve never done a role for a Hispanic play before, so this is exciting.”

Isaac Simons-Arraya (Theater Arts major) added “The play follows themes of desperation. Rebecca’s family is from Juarez, that’s something that she feels pretty connected to. It’s a pretty direct link.”

Christopher Amador (English major) commented of the presence of a Spanish-language play on campus for himself and the many other Spanish-speaking actors involved in this play, saying

“My family at home only speaks Spanish, they always love to come watch the plays that I’m in. I wanted them to see something that they would actually understand and enjoy. Finding something in Spanish was new to me. I’d never done a Spanish play before.”

The curtain will go up on Women of Juarez on Oct. 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Burnight Studio Theatre.