Chela by Dulce Maria Solis, 10/1/10, Theatre Play
About Chela- Based on the true story of Solis’ mother, this ninety minute play recounts the seemingly illogical and unreasonable ways in which Chela reacts and copes with child neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence at the hands of her mother and husband, an almost absent father, eight miscarriages, immigrant status, and prohibited love.
This one woman show makes a strong statement on the utmost importance of breaking the cycle of domestic violence, as the artist presents her world view and upbringing, coming to us in poetic words, stories, and creative images, costumes and props. Solis (as Chela) is literally and figuratively beautiful as she delivers scene after scene with heart/gut wrenching, soulful tales of her mother’s ultimate triumph after years of horrific domestic abuse and degradation.
Watching Maria was really quite inspiring. She was very entertaining to watch and she had great stage presence. Her delivery of scenes was quite impressive and great energy and emotion through her acting and gestures. The story was also quite a powerful piece and I felt it was very personal to her. It was a very touchy subject to reenact her mother’s upbringing. As a minor in theatre and thinking about acting, I feel that watching Maria and witnessing her performance that I want to be able to portray such emotion through my work and really personalize it for myself. I too want to be able to express an emotion which the audience can feel as well. Really thinking about it just trying to relate to certain lines or scenes by personal experiences to have that emotion come out.
After the play I later find out that she once went to school here at CSUSM and Marcos Martinez was his mentor. I find that very interesting that the years she put into acting and to see her perform was quite inspiring. I currently am taking a class with Marcos and learning a lot about performing. I recently auditioned for a play next semester called The Misanthrope. I got a part in the play and look forward to performing next semester. I know that the constant practice and discipline will be necessary if I want to pursue such a career. Witnessing Maria and understanding the discipline she put towards acting, that I too must have the same discipline and work ethic to perform at high level. Much respect to the artist.