Written by Lorin Brice Hall
The Modern Language Department put on a theatrical production of Botánica in the Olin Recital Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Botánica was written by late Cuban-American Playwright Dolores Prida and first staged in 1991. Botánica is the third Spanish play produced by the department in three years.
The play portrays the cultural difficulties faced by a young woman when she returns home from college, having actively distanced herself from her Puerto Rican heritage. The dialogue featured in this production was mostly in Spanish, with English summaries provided for clarity.
The play primarily revolves around the theme of identity while also exploring feminism, code switching and the realities that Hispanic women face in the United States.
The play was overseen by Drs. Hancock-Parmer and Flores-Silva, who joined forces in order to expand opportunities for students to practice language in real cultural contexts.
“The play enriches Roanoke College as theater provides a meaningful tool for language acquisition, and it also introduces students to Hispanic cultures,” said Hancock-Parmer, “We hope the play reminds all of us the importance of valuing diversity.”
Flores-Silva stated that the theatrical experience was extremely personally rewarding as it allowed her to share her culture with others.
Ensemble member Alejandro Carino was excited to take part in the production as it focused on a struggle that many Latinos could relate to.
“The experience of being in Botánica has helped me in my study of the Spanish language as the immersive experience helped truly bring the language to life,” said senior Lindsey Camille Nanz.