The debut of Raíces Theatre Company’s original production, “Isleña” sends a message of hope and resilience to all who have the pleasure of seeing this production. If this isn’t yet on your must see list, there are still two weekends left!
Raíces co-founder and artistic director Victoria Pérez, stars as all nine characters in this astounding one woman show that tells the tale of her very own story. Bringing “Isleña” even closer to home, Victoria co-wrote this story alongside her sister María Pérez-Gómez who also serves as the director of this production. Together they piece together the story of a woman’s journey from her beloved home country of Puerto Rico to Buffalo and the struggle to define her identity through the transition. The title character is turning 40 years old and is forced to use this milestone to reconcile with her inner child and the joyful yet traumatic experiences while living on the island.
“It’s a true story based on Victoria’s journey to Buffalo from Puerto Rico and finding that place that she calls home on different levels- it’s a place that she calls home within herself, reconciling with past trauma and just coming to a place of peace with that and realizing how it had affected her as well in that process,” shares María.
With this entire production being written in only 8 weeks, Victoria delivers a showstopping performance that tells a story almost everyone can relate too. Although this play is specific to her own experience, it majorly deals with healing from sexual assualt trauma and the years that follow.
“It’s difficult to talk about these kinds of topics, and it was the first time that Victoria and I really processed it at this level as sisters. When you approach it as a writer, you want to be as authentic as possible.”
While this play does cover heavy topics, it ultimately serves as a love letter to Puerto Rico from Victoria. Through live music ensembles and electric energy throughout the entire performance, the joys and beauty of Puerto Rican culture is sewn into every minute of the play.
“ So I think this play hits on two points. It’s finding that love for your homeland, the love for where you come from. Nobody’s from here, we all come from somewhere else. It just matters what generation we’re in. But also it hits on the resiliency of the human spirit,” says Victoria.
Victoria courageously showcases the play’s resounding message that although pain is universal, there’s always hope for redemption and healing. See this performance at the Road Less Traveled Theatre and tickets can be purchased at https://ticketstripe.com/islenaonewomanshow or by calling 716-381-9333. Read here for an in depth analysis of the play by Buffalo Rising’s theatre expert Peter Hall.