God’s Gypsy, a play about Saint Teresa of Avila, is making a very brief stop at GALA Hispanic Theatre, Monday and Tuesday, Oct 19 and 20. The play is an adaption of the novel, Sister Teresa by Varvara Mujica by Coco Blignaut, who also plays the role of Saint Teresa. She took a few minutes from preparations for tonight’s performance to answer a few questions.
The announcement describes God’s Gypsy as ” a bold, sexy and humanizing portrait of the 16th century mystic who became one of the most controversial reformers of the Catholic Church.” We asked the playwright, Coco Blignaut:
What can audiences expect to see when they attend God’s Gypsy?
Coco Blignaut: God’s Gypsy is an intense, true to the life story of Saint Teresa of Avila, but is also infused with her playful and endearing spirit, with many magical moments depicting her visions and conversations with Christ and the angels.
You are portraying Saint Teresa. Tell us a bit about her.
CB: Saint Teresa was wild, fiery, a mystic, had a holy madness and a daring that few humans have. She was also a delightful conversationalist, diplomatic, funny, and a shrewd businesswoman. She had Jewish blood, which made her a dangerous nun at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
What do you most enjoy about her?
CB:Her earthy, free spirit. Her love affair with Christ.
How does the reference to a gypsy pertain?
CB:Saint Teresa had duende – duende is the Spanish word for the passion that free-spirited gypsies have, especially when they sing and dance and lose themselves in a place of holy madness. Also, Saint Teresa traveled all over Spain in a rickety carriage, founding her convents and monasteries. She traveled like a gypsy, exposed to harsh weather and extreme landscapes.
What compelled you to both adapt and perform this story?
CB:Her visions of angels and Christ fascinate me, as I have had a small glimpse into this world.
How is music by Lili Haydn incorporated in the play?
CB:The play is underscored by Lili Haydn’s music, and her song, “Powers of Five,” is the theme song to God’s Gypsy and opens the play. Other liturgical and renaissance pieces of music are interwoven; a mix of modern gypsy and traditional Christian holy music.
October 19 & 20, 2015
GALA Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
Tickets: $20 – $38
Details and Tickets
Why is this play relevant now?
CB: Saint Teresa teaches us to go after our dreams and not to give up. No matter what. Also, she is challenging the technologically immersed world to look beyond the illusion, and find what is real and timeless, what is right in front of our eyes, what we often do not see anymore; a world infused by Spirit, what some call God.
Stanislavksy once said, “Actors are ministers of Truth”. Saint Teresa almost paid for her life with her truth. We are giving our audience our blood, sweat and tears, and our truth. She is driving this production.
I am a humble instrument through which Saint Teresa plays.
You are touring this show. Where else will it be seen?
CB: Next year we will be preparing to make God’s Gypsy the film. We will also look into the possibilities of touring more, and performing in New York. For this we need the funds, and we are open to all the financial help we can get.
For more information, visit the Web site for God’s Gypsy.
Can we use this photo of you? And, if yes, who is the photographer? (Or send another photo)
Yes, the photographer is SILVIA SPROSS
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS FOR US!!