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  • Writer's pictureVirginia Blanco

My US Premiere Doméstica Realidad [Domestic Reality] journey


Carla Gallardo, Deborah Cortez, Dyana Díaz in Doméstica Realidad by La Lengua Teatro En Español at Brava Theater, August 2023 (San Francisco, CA) - Photo by Constanza Hevia

After so many years flirting with the idea of directing a play, the opportunity presented itself unannounced.

As an Artistic Director at La Lengua Teatro en Español, I am imagining new projects and reading plays all the time. When in 2020 -lockdown was right at its beginning- I discovered the one-of-a-kind Uruguayan play Doméstica Realidad, and felt immediately in love with it. But the true is, I never pictured myself directing it. Until a couple of months ago.


When you lead a project, your main goal is to find the right people for each role. But sometimes life happens and even the right people have to cancel. I was the Producer of the show already, and there was no time to find another director. Since I had a lot of people committed to the project, canceling was not an option. And since I loved the play so much, I thought 'Maybe this is the time to give it a try as a Director. Why not?'


For this new journey, I requested a seasoned guide. Repertorio Español's resident director Leyma López, with whom I had the pleasure to work with in 2020 for our Zoom production of Beben by Guillermo Calderón, showed me the way through a coast-to-coast mentorship. I was so fortunate she accepted being my advisor! Leyma is generosity, inspiration and energy. She provided me with a 'map' that prepared me in advance for when certain (normal) circumstances appear while directing a play. Working with her was one of the best experiences I had/ decisions I've made in this production. Being mentored by another woman, a theater artist who is also a Latina and a transplant in the US like me, is priceless.


Carla Gallardo, Deborah Cortez, Dyana Díaz in Doméstica Realidad by La Lengua Teatro En Español at Brava Theater, August 2023 (San Francisco, CA) - Photo by Constanza Hevia

Producing and directing: I love them both, as much as acting. However, I won't deny it is exhausting wearing more than one 'heavyweight hat'. These positions have a lot of invisible work and stress behind the scenes of being in charge. As an actor, I used to think that directors had things somewhat easier because they had the big picture of the show. But now I understand that that doesn’t mean doing less hard work than anyone else, quite the opposite. My respect for director's work has been considerably increased after this wonderful experience. And my gratitude goes to the amazing team, cast and crew I had the pleasure to share this journey with.


Dyana Díaz, Deborah Cortez, Carla Gallardo in Doméstica Realidad by La Lengua Teatro En Español at Brava Theater, August 2023 (San Francisco, CA) - Photo by Constanza Hevia

And speaking of invisible work... Doméstica Realidad is about that. Based on real life testimonies, it navigates the questions about who does the household chores, and why. Why we think of women when talking about domestic work? Why is it an unpaid work? Why women feel guilty when hiring someone (other women) to do that work for them? How feminism and social class clash in this employer-employee relationships? How employers feel about having a strange cleaning their filth? How domestic workers feel about cleaning the filth of strangers? How domestic workers are being treated at their workplace? Why the government defends the idea that the rules of private property are more important than the basic rights of domestic workers?


If you are interested in knowing more about the situation of domestic workers in California, visit the website of our collaborators from CA Domestic Workers Coalition. Their struggles are not very different than the ones Uruguayan domestic workers are going through.

Our run of Doméstica Realidad closed on August 13 but its streaming is available for one week only, from today August 24 until August 31. Check it out! I hope you enjoy it as much as our live audiences and critics.


Tickets for the streaming here.

Critics here by the San Francisco Chronicle and 48 Hills.


Poster designed by Cecilia Bedregal Salinas


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