Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

Art will imitate life quite consciously at the premiere of Elia Arce’s No le Digas a Nadie (“Don’t Tell Anybody”). For more than a month, performance artist Arce has met twice a week with four HIV-positive Latinas from the Washington area with the intention of turning their stories into theater. In the end, they decided to keep the format of their support-group sessions as the basis for the performance, in effect inviting the audience into their very real world. The multimedia performance begins with the audience walking through a sound-and-video installation designed to re-create the experience of getting tested for HIV at a clinic. The stage show begins with Arce and the women seated around a table having a discussion, just as they have done on previous occasions. Their talks, presented in Spanish with simultaneous English translation available, range from high-pitched debates over whether to have American or Latin food at meetings to intensely personal explorations of family, relationships, sexuality, and health. It takes courage to be an artist willing to grapple with issues of culture, identity, sex, and power—but it takes extraordinary courage for an ordinary woman to air her laundry for the whole world to see, and to reveal that being a woman, an immigrant, and HIV-positive doesn’t mean remaining invisible. At 8 p.m. Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, and 4 p.m. Sunday, May 9, at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 1625 Park Road NW. $18. (202) 833-9800. (Holly Bass)