In DOG LADY, the setting is a barrio street in Los Angeles, where a young Hispanic woman is in training for a marathon sponsored by a local church. Egged on by a dogged suitor, she is unable to achieve her best until the local curandera, or faith healer, a loony old woman who lives amid a horde of dogs, endows her with magic powers—which enable her to run swiftly on all fours and easily out distance her fellow competitors. (2 men, 5 women.) THE CUBAN SWIMMER deals with another instance in which Hispanic-Americans use athletic skills to propel themselves into the mainstream of middle-class life. Here the action involves a young woman endurance swimmer who races from San Pedro to Catalina Island while her family follows her in a leaky boat. As they bicker and exhort her, she begins to weary and stray off course—until a spiritual and magical intervention reinvigorates her and she resolves to "dive into the Milky Way and wash my hands in the stars." (2 men, 3 women.)
Successfully produced in both New York and London, these two colorful and highly imaginative plays marked the debut of one of our theatre's most exciting and resourceful writers. Dealing with two aspects of the spirit of Santeria—a lively synthesis of European and African elements peculiar to Cuban culture, the plays are both fabulist in nature and filled with a sense of ritual and lyricism. "…imaginative and inspiring one-act plays." —NY Post. "…both playlets reveal a humorous insight into Hispanic family life which is colorful, devout and histrionic." —Time Out London. "Though both plays are family dramas, and ethnic ones to boot, Sanchez-Scott's deft infusion of magical realism raises them high above the kitchen sink." —Village Voice.