Latinas con pluma
Stage show celebrates Latina writers
Holyoke Community College will present "Latinas con pluma," a celebration of Latina writers on Thursday, Feb. 9, beginning at 7 p.m. on the stage of the Leslie Phillips Theater.
The event will feature dramatic readings compiled and directed by HCC theater professor Patricia Sandoval.
"It's got drama, it's got poetry, and it's got prose," Sandoval said. "We're taking excerpts from Latina writers and putting it together into a theater piece."
There are selections from about 20 different Latina writers, Sandoval said, such as Esmeralda Santiago, Dolores Prida, and Magdalena Gomez, a Springfield writer and performer who is expected to be in the audience.
Their work will be read by nine HCC students and alumni, all women.
"Latinas con pluma" started as a sabbatical project for Sandoval, who spent a semester researching Latina writers with the intent of putting on a staged reading.
"The beauty of Latina writers has been a passion of mine since my college days," said Sandoval, a 1984 graduate of HCC who lives in Southampton, "and now I have the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their work."
The title is a play on words, she said.
"Pluma means feather, but it also means pen," she said.
The evening will include performances by percussion duo Puertominicana (featuring HCC alumna Julissa Rodriguez) and singer/guitarist Diana Alvarez.
There will also be a photo and story exhibit on display in the lobby called "Nuestra Abuelas de Holyoke" ("Our Holyoke Grandmothers"), curated by Waleska Santiago, educational director at Holyoke's Wistariahurst Museum.
"Latinas con pluma" is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served in the theater lobby following the performance.
The event is sponsored by the HCC Theater Department and by a joint grant from MassHumanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
PHOTO by CHRIS YURKO: HCC theater professor Patricia Sandoval, with Latina writer Magdalena Gomez, after Gomez performed some of her poetry at HCC last Fall