The theater adaptation of “Eva Luna” , one of the best-known novels by Chilean Isabel Allende, is about to take the stage in a world premiere at the Spanish Repertory Hall in New York, which for the second time will take to the stage to the award-winning writer and journalist.
The text was adapted into a two-hour play by the playwright Caridad Svich, who had already made the adaptation of “The House of the Spirits” for the same theater , premiered in 2009.
The adaptation, Svich says, took a year of work to transfer this 1988 work to the theatrical version, and its first performance will be directed by Estefanía Fadul, who will make her debut on June 3.
“There is something between Isabel’s work and mine that has a deep connection ,” commented Svich, who has once again had the writer’s endorsement.
“Isabel only told me that she was delighted that I wrote the work!” , the composer, editor and translator also points out with satisfaction, and explains that the adaptation process “took many directions at the beginning”.
“But for me, -he adds- the focus has always been the character of Eva, her joys and sorrows and her sense of humor and sensitivity. There is something in Eva that breathes light, strength and positive energy, and for me, that is central”.
He highlights that the protagonist is surrounded by “fascinating” characters and much of the adaptation work “was choosing which ones were going to be used to move the plot of the work”, which “was the most difficult”.
The novel tells the story of Eva Luna, born into poverty and who through the years finds her voice as a narrator. The play takes the reader from the charming, comical and shrewd protagonist’s childhood to adulthood, and along the way she crosses paths with a series of characters who will change the course of her life.
Of the many characters in this novel -each one with their own story-, Svich chose those who help Eva Luna to grow, “to see beyond people (her interior), Fadul commented shortly before beginning a rehearsal at the Repertorio Español theater, one of the theaters in New York with an exclusive program in Spanish.
“I hope that the audience takes away that idea of understanding people beyond what one sees, their stories, seeing where they come from, why they are like that, for all of us to understand each other better ,” adds the director, who was born in Colombia but grew up in New Hampshire, and with a long experience also directing theater in English.
Among the characters who will share the stage with Eva Luna are her mother Consuelo; the Lady, owner of the brothel who took care of her for a while; Mimi, the transsexual she met in her brothel, and “grandma Elvira.
He assures that it is a challenge to direct a work with many characters, in which time changes and in which technology has been used to help tell the story.
“It has been a challenge, but it has been a good one to see how all things come together” to bring Eva Luna’s story to the public, says Fadul, who admits that although she admits “being nervous as always” , she is also confident in the work they have done.
The role of Eva Luna has fallen to the Chilean actress Andrea Velasco, who does not hide her emotion.
“We love Isabel Allende very much, her books are part of our culture since school. For me it is an honor, a huge satisfaction to have been selected for this role” , she commented and affirms that she has a “giant” responsibility with this project: ” Chilean, in New York and, playing this wonderful role…”.
For the actress, who worked in theater, cinema and television in her country, the most difficult thing about getting into Eva Luna’s skin is the transition through the ages, since she begins with childhood until adulthood, with the speed that is required a work.
” It has been a very entertaining but difficult challenge at the same time to start as a girl and see how she evolves at different ages, how her movement and her voice change, what she lives, because her experiences with other characters make her grow,” she said, and He explains that to prepare he observed the children’s movements to which he adds his passion for the theater.
Velasco admits to being “nervous”, “very anxious” but “happy” with this world premiere.