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Flor Amalia Lugo

Text of scenes from the play

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Donde Esta Dios?
written by Flor Amalia Lugo, performed by Teatro Negro

Donde Esta Dios? is a play on racism in today's Cuba written by one of Cuba's few serious black actresses, Flor Amalia Lugo.  It is performed by the Teatro Negro, a theatre group Flor directs in Havana.  Dios is an metaphor for power and the play is surreal and very imaginative. It makes use of a wide variety of elements from the Teatro Buffo (Cuba's Minstrel Show) to Yoruba culture to Shakespeare to Cuban street life.   This play has been filmed by an Australian director, more on this as we get the information.

Pedro Pérez Sarduy has written a brief history of Teatro Negro.  We have copies of the script of this play available.

To obtain a copy:

Simply send $15 in a check or money order made out to Arlington Web Group. We will send by regular mail. Our address: Box 1054, Arlington, MA 02474

For priority mail, add $5. For all deliveries overseas, add $9 for Global Priority (4 days) and $2 for air mail.

Scenes from the play

Where is God?

Dónde está Dios?

by Flor Amalia Lugo

Author, Director
Teatro Negro
Havana, 1996

Copyright (c) 1996 by Flor Amalia Lugo

 "To those who believe that even now it is not too late." -- Flor Amalia

Summary

Title: Where is God? -- Play by Flor Amalia Lugo. Satirical Musical Consciousness-raising Show. Theme: Racial and social inequalities in today's Cuba. Objective: to denounce the existing racial inequalities in the dawn of the 21st century. Foster the unity of the black race, seeking to build a more just racial and social order. Demonstrate that "mankind is all people," according to Jose Marti, Cuba's national hero. SUBJECT MATTER: Recounts the wanderings of a young black man who wakes up to life and goes in search of truth. Accuses and questions the Creator who submits him to rigorous trials which matures his consciousness and stimulates him to take on the struggle to obtain the unity of the race.

This is a satirical musical where I gather a large part of my life's philosophy and treat this theme, in the context of this century's last decade.


This scene is based on the Teatro Bufo, or Comic Theater, which is Cuban equivalent of the US's Minstrel Theater. It had stock characters: "el Negrito," acted by a white man in blackface, "la Mulata," the mixed race woman often held to be the standard of beauty, and "el Gallego," the Galician whom la Mulatta was often trying to extract money.  The Galician is how Spaniards are often referred to in South America -- Galicia is a poor and harsh region of Northern Spain.

The Teatro Bufo lived during Republican Cuba until 1959. The last Negrito was personified by the actor Carlos Pous, who died in 1982. The most famous of all "Negritos" was acted by his uncle, Arquimides Pous, who died in Puerto Rico in 1926. For the past several years, some theater people have tried to justify the possibility of a rebirth of the Teatro Bufo on the grounds that it belongs to the Cuban cultural heritage. However, this has been met with opposition from some AfroCuban intellectuals who have argued that there is no reason to bring back the worst in Cuban tradition.

Scene VI The Negrito

Sage, the Witches, Boy, Negrito

NEGRITO ENTERS SINGING

Chorus: A, la, lala, lala

A, la, lala, lala

So good, so good, Ae

So good, so good, Ae

Ave Maria, little witches

Ave Maria, little witches

Witches: [Happy] Negrito!

Negrito: Stop, Babies! Mulatico! Yes, because that's how they liked to be called now, all those different elements that don't belong to one race or the other. I'm talking to you! How are my mulaticas? Do I say, my little witches?

Witches: Very good, very good.

Boy: Who is he?

Negrito: Godofredo Perdomo Casimoro Morales y Castillejo to serve you.

Sage: He is a figure in the Minstrel Theater* who brings us news from the world outside.

Witch I: And how are things out there?

Negrito: Woman, there is an homage going on and all that.

Witch II: No!

Witch I: For who?

Negrito: [In secret] For...

Witch II: Lie!

Negrito: It's the truth!

Witch I: So, this thing is happening.

Negrito: Well almost, because there is ñao in the air.

Witches: Ñao?

Negrito: Yeah, fear

Witches: Fear, ñao, dread, babies. Fear is loose all around us.

Boy: Fear?

Negrito: And I'm leaving, I'm leaving 'cause I'm in a big hurry. Good bye, babies. [Goes back]. Ah, they didn't understand one thing.

All: What thing, what?

Negrito: [Sings] I'm not in white face.

I'm not in white face,

and last night I coped an attitude. [Exits]

Witches: Good-by, Negrito

Witch I: (To Witch II) You think they'll get it?

Witch II: If she didn't get it in sixty eight years, the Boy'll get it in one day?

Sage: Witches, what are you whispering?

Witch II: Nothing, nothing, most refined one. We are talking of sacred proverbs.

Sage: [Threatening] Remember the proverb of good and evil.

Witches: Yeah, sure, repeat after me, Boy. If you want to do good, do it well. If you want to do evil, do likewise.

Sage: That's not it, my son, do not repeat that.

Witches: We've arrived!

Boy: Where? [Falls deeply asleep]


Translator's note regarding the use of the name Boy in the following extract: as remarked by Pedro Perez-Sarduy, "I don't think we should make a gift to southern racists of this beautiful word so full of innocence and childhood."

From Act II, Scene VII

Boy: My truth, my truth is that I am tired of so much racism.

Sage: You have said the right word.

Witches: RA-CI-SM!

Witch II: Shut up, Boy, for your own good.

Boy: I won't shut up at all. Racism, yes Racism!

God: [Off Stage] Careful with what you're saying.

Boy: I got my sight back. [He puts his eyes back in.]

Sage: Don't trust yourself, Boy

God: Racism is much too severe a word.

Witch II: That's right! Do you know what racism is to be saying these horrible things?

Witch I: Do you know what you are saying?

Witch II: Yeah, do you know what you have just said?

Boy: They won't intimidate me. I'm ready for anything.

Witch I: But where? Where is there racism? Where?

Sage: Let him speak.

Boy:  There's racism every time they say Black in a disrespectful way, as if I were some strange bug. There's racism every time they separate a white child from a black child, saying they are not equal. There's racism when only the whites have the right to be movie stars and come out on the big screen. There's racism every time a Black person lowers his head, thinking he is mistaken because they have made us believe that we are mistaken, but this I know isn't true. Here the only one who is mistaken is you, the day you created the world and made us all equal.

God: [Off stage] I'm telling you again, that is not my fault.

Boy: For that I came here, I thought you could help me, but now I see that you can't. You are not interested in the disaster you created. Now, you are dedicated to trickery, but I am going to tell everyone.

God: [Off stage] This I don't have to take. Prepare to die.

Witches: We told you so.

Sage: Flee, Boy!

God: [Off stage] It won't help you at all to flee. There is no place on earth I won't find you. [To the Witches:] Witches!

Witches: Yes, Lord.

God: [Off stage] Find the Boy and bring him to me. If you don't find him, you will remain changed into stones like this forever, forever!

THE WITCHES BEGIN TO SHAKE TO THE POINT WHERE THEY FALL ON THE GROUND, CHANGED INTO STONES.

 

Obtaining a copy of the script for this play

Simply send $15 in a check or money order made out to AfroCubaWeb at the address below. We will send by regular mail.

For priority mail, add $3. For all deliveries overseas, add $9 for Global Priority (4 days) and $2 for air mail.

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

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