Friday, April 27, 2018

Play a Day: Barceló On The Rocks

Marco Antonio Rodriguez
For Friday I read Barceló On the Rocks by Marco Antonio Rodriguez, a playwright whose work is available at New Play Exchange.
That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once. How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain’s jawbone, that did the first murder!
- HAM V.i
The first murder, and in Hamlet's case the recent murder of his father by his uncle. The story of the human race is one of continual and constant betrayal, between family members, friends, and lovers.

The baggage that we carry as Americans, the collective weight of cultures without number, many who flee across the border to escape persecution, but end up bringing their oppression with them.

Rodriguez's tale is a memory play of the Dominican Republic, centering on one man who has betrayed as much as he has been betrayed. Caught between nations, abandoning his home and not yet embracing America, he burdens his sons with his shame, disappointment, and sadness.

His script is rich and layered, a tension of regret and fear from the old country haunting the otherwise everyday setting of an apartment in Washington Heights. The final moments, of honesty, confession and acceptance, are a welcome release and promise hope for the future.

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