In a pre-revolutionary Cuba doomed to poverty and underdevelopment, Maria Antonia, a young prostitute, falls in love for the first time.
The play takes place in an urban setting teeming with life and action: a market place, a few seedy rooms, vacant lots, a sailors’ tavern… Beyond the love story, the protagonists—Maria Antonia, Julian, Carlos and the old Cumachela—personify the Cuban people, caught up in decisive historical circumstances: the emergence of a black Cuban republic.
Far from rejecting Cuba’s cultural tradition and heritage, the production by Teatro Irrumpe updates and incorporates mythology, ritual chants and traditional dances. A sizeable contingent of dancers from Cuba’s Ballet Conjunto Folklorico Nacional contributes to this massive and lavish production. Created in 1967, MARIA ANTONIA is already considered a masterpiece of dramatic art in Cuba. Like Mérimée’s Carmen, the heroine’s passion leads inevitably to death, the ultimate response to her thirst for the absolute.
By Eugenio Hernandez Espinosa
Directed by Roberto Blanco
A production of the Teatro Irrumpe de Santiago de Cuba, with the participation of Cubats Ballet Conjunto Folklorico Nacional.