I’D LIKE TO THANK Washington City Paper for reviewing GALA Hispanic theater’s production of Doña Rosita the Spinster, or the Language of Flowers (City Lights, 3/17). As a Latina and theater enthusiast, I know how hard it has been for GALA to get the kind of media coverage that is taken for granted by other wealthier, bigger, but no more talented area theaters. However, as a feminist and GALA supporter, I was surprised to read Federico Garcia Lorca’s Doña Rosita described as a “tale guaranteed to irritate the incipient feminist in every patron.”
I’m saddened that Garcia Lorca’s message was misunderstood. Rosita may not behave as we would like her to, but it is from this alienation and our sympathy toward her that we learn from her mistakes. The mastery of Garcia Lorca is to show us that if Rosita has not helped herself, society has done no better; the forces of tradition, custom, and societal values have not only accelerated her downfall, but caused it. Doña Rosita is more than a “lovely play suffused with poetry,” although that is how Garcia Lorca chose to portray the intimate emotions of a woman who, as the production’s director notes on the playbill, is “subjugated…in a male-oriented and repressive society.”
One of Spain’s foremost poets and playwrights, Garcia Lorca was executed on the eve of the Spanish Civil War because his lifestyle and his politics were misunderstood. If an artist lives on in his work, it would likewise be a crime to misunderstand his work so grossly.
Assistant Director, Doña Rosita the Spinster, or the Language of Flowers