‘Sins of Sor Juana’ tells the story of a rebellious writer

‘Sins of Sor Juana’ tells the story of a rebellious writer

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By Marcus Perez

Texas A&M – University Kingsville’s theatre season will conclude with the production of “Sins of Sor Juana,” a creative tale of one of the most rebellious writers in history.
Showtimes are April 24-25 at 7:30 p.m., and April 29 at 2:30 PM. Admission is $5.
All shows will be held in the Little Theatre located in the Speech Building.
“Sor Juana”, penned by Karen Zacarias, tells the story of Juana Ramirez de Asbaje – that becomes Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz – as she battles her right for the ability to write; a taboo ability for women during the 17th century.
Often referred to as the first feminist of the American continents, “Sor Juana” is a theatrical, illusionary tale that displays the battle Juana faced for an intellectual life within the corridors of the church.
Sor Juana was born in Mexico City during 1648. She was considered a prodigy of her time for her ability to teach herself several different languages and garnish a natural talent for writing.
Although an imagined tale, the play attempts to connect the audience with the hardships and struggles that Juana faced that helped shape her fate.
The play begins in 1693, when Juana was at the peak of her battle between the Church and herself over her ability to write. Choosing instead to completely cut herself off from writing rather than censoring herself, the play then takes the audience through a series of flashbacks beginning from when Juana was 17 years of age.
“It’s really a story about trusting your inner instincts and being yourself,” says Desiree Putnam, the female actor that portrays the role of Sor Juana in AMK’S production.
“She [Sor Juana] was trying to be a woman, an educated woman, in a time when it wasn’t allowed.”
“Society has all these rules for us,” Putnam continues, “and at a young age we are taught certain gender restrictions. In this play, however, we do have a scene where I have to dress as a man, and one of the male characters is dressed as a woman.”
“Sins of Sor Juana” is a play that presses boundaries for the audience, but all in terms of social equality, and understanding of the hardships that creative, outspoken women in previous generations faced.
AMK’s cast includes: Desiree Putnam as Sor Juana,  Fernando Mercado as Silvio, Anya Pena as Xochito, Leah Luna as Sor Sara, Alyssa Gonzales as Novice, Benito Latigo as Pedro, and Miguel Venegas as Padre.  Jalen Gonzales is the stage manager for the production, and faculty member Dr. Patrick Faherty is directing.
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