Marissa Chibas’ one-woman show brings stories of Cuba to life.
Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary turns memory into a vivid picture of a country at the brink of change and a child looking for answers.
While each of us might have a few familial characters worthy of a stage adaptation, the family of playwright and actress Marissa Chibas easily has us beat. Her father, Raul, co-wrote the manifesto for the Cuban revolution, and her uncle Eddy was the frontrunner for the 1951 Cuban presidency before dying by suicide. And then there’s her mother, the runner-up for Miss Cuba in 1959. It’s these towering, vivid figures that Chibas brings to life in her play Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary. Making its Chicago premiere as part of the third-annual Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, the show pieces together personal memories and historical events to paint a picture of a volatile moment in Cuban history from one family’s perspective. “I felt an ancestral call to tell this story,” Chibas says. Since the show’s 2007 debut in California, Chibas has taken it around the world and made crucial edits that bring her mother more into the spotlight. “It was always centered around my father,” she says, “but as I get older, I realize she was her own revolutionary.” Oct. 8-13, tickets $25- $30, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Photography by: STEVEN GUNTHER