Art has always served as a way to channel the concerns of people and irreverently show discontent with those failures that society may have.
Theater has been one of the art manifestations more open to such forms of expression and these days one of the main theaters of Havana and the country hosts a piece that promises to shock more than one, and doesn’t think twice before saying truths no matter how raw they are.
The stepdaughter is the title of the latest proposal by director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti (My little town, El Premio Flaco) with assistance from the Theater Center of Havana and El ingenio production company.
With the original script by Cuban playwright Rogelio Orizondo, the story revolves around a series of conflicts triggered in a family due to the loss of a mother and wife. An event will drastically mark the fate of an armless girl, who is at the mercy of her abusive stepfather and neighbors.
Generally speaking, the dramaturgical sense of the work screams from the rooftops certain discomfort with real social problems, referred to through symbols and hidden messages in the script. The text in turn is coarse and rough on how it treats the links among the stories, even the ornament of the story of the girl, raped by a dog while the stepfather enjoys masturbating, or outcome of the neighbour who suffers a metamorphosis from caregiver at a cemetery to a cheap prostitute.
There is no soft speech anywhere … everything is clear and calls things by its true name. Maybe that’s one of the good things – or wrongness too- of this piece and the way Cremata sees versions. It is undoubtedly a voluble work in its interpretations that hides a language and a staging that borders on banality and unfit, as its director says, for conservative mentalities.