Review: 'Sins of Sor Juana' reveals remarkable woman

Posted November 22, 2020

Sor Juana Al Dia Review

By Regina Belt-Daniels, The Northwest Herald

I doubt many of us have heard of Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th century Mexican poet and nun revered for her outspokenness. But thanks to American Players Theatre and PBS Wisconsin in their second "Out of the Woods" collaboration, I guarantee that is about to change.

De la Cruz was a legendary cultural figure in Mexico, and now is considered to be the first feminist writer in the West. Beginning her career in the court of Mexico City at the age of 16, de la Cruz addressed love, feminism, philosophy and even sex through verse at a time when it was politically incorrect, sinful, and unfashionable for women to express their intellect.

Karen Zacarías's play “The Sins of Sor Juana,” a Goodman Theatre season production in 2010, draws upon what little historical facts are known about de la Cruz. Zacarías writes in the style of magical realism; the play is full of imagery, drama, humor and complexity. It’s also relevant and timely, appropriate for these times.

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