Deseo is an original work written by playwright Raquel Carrió and loosely based on the characters and plot line of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Deseo is set in a fictional Latin American city, and departs from Streetcar by framing the story within the cultural codes of Latin America.
Playwright Raquel Carrió, known for her many contemporary writings that reinterpret iconic works within new cultural contexts, has written a work that recalls Williams’ original attitudes as well as the relationships between characters, while also adding new characters, and creating a different artistic and referential world from that of the American classic. These changes demonstrate an anthropological observation of the psychological and spiritual complexities that determine the social behavior of individuals.
The set also differs from the traditional, assuming no attachments to any cultural traditions, and creating a cultural context that at once recalls the American South and its cultural proximity to Latin America. The lack of props on the set also magnifies the human figure, revealing that this work is set outside of the psychological realism that characterizes Williams’ original work. The action evokes locations, however the cultural imagery resides in the actors themselves.
The lighting design accentuates a sense of placelessness and the ability to travel to internal locations through inference and gesture. The music for this work, composed and performed by Picadillo, a band that fuses vintage Cuban music such as guaracha and son, with jazz, rock, soul, and influences from New Orleans, also underscores the ambiguity of the location and cultural setting in which this story is set.
The actors, representing a variety of Latin American countries, cultures and linguistic styles, including Cuba, Mexico and Spain, also bring their own ethnic presence and awareness to the work, as well as their condition as immigrants, a factor which lends an additional layer of pathos to the piece and cements the cultural ambiguity and yearning for cultural attachment that characterizes this work.
Although Deseo’s plot line is loosely based on Williams’ original dramatic conflict, this original contemporary work adds layers to the original that speak to the realities of Latin American immigrants across the United States, as well as the idiosyncrasies of Latin America itself, in its continual attempt to culturally and socially mirror the mores and attitudes of the United States.
Performed in Spanish with English super-titles.
Festival and Flex pass only includes events from May 3-7, and not the encore presentations.
Jorge Louis Alvarez
Mector Aguero and the Picadillo Band
3310 Samuel Shepard Drive
St. Louis, MO 63103