|Carlos E. Rojas|
For Saturday I read My Uncle Javy by Carlos E. Rojas, and available at New Play Exchange.
"Do you think it's possible for people to change, if they want to?" asks a thirteen year-old girl in this play. She regrets saying it, in that self-conscious way people do when they suddenly think what they've said sounds "stupid," because the answer should be obvious.
You want to change? Change! But it's not that simple.
Rojas has composed a troubling family drama about the cycle of quiet abuse that happens when we abandon our dreams and reach for what is closest to us, and create a shameful, furtive reality.
I remember, just before we split, my ex-wife proposed running off the New Orleans for New Year's Eve. It seemed preposterous, we hadn't been civil for weeks, I was deep into a new relationship, but she made a suggestion so grand, I'm sure it was meant to be exciting, wild, liberating. But it also seemed silly, and pointless.
There are lines you cross and you can never go back. Sometimes that is good. In the case of the title character of this play it is not, and it nearly destroys the life of a teenage girl. The playwright creates a absorbing, uncomfortable scenario, posing difficult questions. In the end those who transgress are not punished, but we are left with the hope that Rosie, the girl, will be able to control her own destiny when everyone responsible for her has failed.