I went to see “Light of Night” (directed by Mariana Carreño King) at Iati Theater, last Friday. It ‘s about the story of Stephanie (Ana Kaynes), who, at the beginning of the play, has Isabel (Florencia Lozano) come over. It is not totally clear who Isabel is for Stephanie; perhaps a lover, but Stephanie obstinately makes sure Isabel does not cross lines that are not very firmly drawn. During the second act, when Jim – Stephanie’s husband- appears, one learns that Stephanie has been kidnapped and starved by him.
The dialogues flew, the actors played well, thanks to a superb directing. Yet when I came out of the theater, I was nauseous and even more so that I did not know exactly why.
It occurred to me I had read the note from the playwright, Cecila Copeland, on the program upon entering the theater. This note tells us that her brother and herself were kidnapped by her father, who was convicted for the felony of child stealing. In her note, Mrs Copeland states she wants to revisit Persephone’s myth. Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (the goddess of the earth). Persephone is abducted by Hades (the god of the underworld), who made her his wife. But Zeus is the boss: in Demeter vs Hades, he accommodates both parties: Persephone would spend the six winter months in the underworld with Hades and the six other months on earth helping her mother Demeter making the earth fecund.
My problem with Cecilia Copeland’s note and her retelling of the Persephone Myth along “modern gender politics” and “body identity” is as follows: men and fathers, same difference. They are all about controlling women’s sexuality they cannot handle for their own ends.
Can we get a break (and the Greeks too for that matter) ? My girls have been kidnapped from me, and Persephone and I, we are cool.