By Gladys Oliva |Staff Writer|
The San Manuel Student Union Theatre held auditions Jan. 17 through 19 for students interested in performing for a new play, “The Panza Monologues.”
The play is based on the book which is written and compiled by Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga.
The book features stories from various Chicanas who discuss their panzas (Spanish for “stomach”) with humor and wonder.
Those featured reveal their struggles and experiences with childhood, relationships, abuse, love, politics, etc.
Despite sharing their difficult struggles, those Chicanas featured knew how to add a humorous touch.
The monologues range from dramatic to comedic, and are thought-provoking.
Student Claudia Ramirez auditioned for “The Panza Monologues, and as a Hispanic woman she commented on how important it is to spread the message on body empowerment by revealing experiences that women go through.
“This type of play empowers you as a woman to not be ashamed of your panza or your Latino culture,” said Ramirez.
Every monologue has to do with the panza and explains the importance of accepting not only your belly but every women’s belly.
Instead of focusing on the negativity that society puts on a women’s belly, such as being unacceptable or unworthy, we must remember that every person’s life begins from a panza.
Ramirez believes its important to have positive connections with not only your bodies but your culture, no matter what background you come from.
Although she has done acting roles for her major in communication she does not have any experience being in front of a live audience.
However, the auditions grabbed her attention due to the encouraging messages it presents to the audience, especially to women of different sizes and races.
“Anytime to share an empowering story about women is a good time but especially today since Donald Trump is our next president. The Latino community has been targeted a lot, and this play shows we as a community can stand together,” student Aylen Jauregui who auditioned for a monologue.
Jauregui who does have experience with theatre explains how “The Panza Monologues” are different from any other project she has done because these monologues have to do with her roots and represent some of the experiences she has gone through as a Latina.
”I did not prepare at all, I just went in there and acted like myself. I just wanted to do something to represent my community,” said Jauregui.
The monologues creates a community for Chicanas and feminists to speak truths about their journeys.
Both plays are well known and have taken place at various Cal State Universities.
The play will take place on campus, in the SMSU Theatre on Friday, March 3rd.