From April 11th to May 5th at the Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, the Mexican-American playwright and poet Marisela Treviño Orta brought on stage one of her latest works Wolf at the door. As a second play of a trilogy, mixing latin-american mythology with classic Grimms-inspired fairytale schemes of fantasy narration, the Wolf at the door is a tragedy suspended in time. Isadora is giving premature birth to a dead baby, the first and only descendant of an abusive husband. When a wild naked and pregnant woman is appearing at their door to threat and invert the patriarchal equilibrium of their lives for good.
When you first get into the humble setting of the Trinity River Arts Center (TRAC) you could not even imagine how bold are the passions rising up from that stage. The Wolf knocks at our door, fiery enchants us with a great performance in a non-pretentious set design. Acting is shouted, english and spanish are spontaneously intertwined as two perfect lovers. Marisela’s words are knives into our stomach, she is holding us for almost one hour and a half of pure emotion. The play is rolled out in a chain of tragic events. We are completely immersed into this naturally paranormal world. Topics are honestly high: abuse, patriarchy, women’s role, submission, destiny, life and death are interchained and exploded into a metaphoric tale. Classic and contemporary at the same time, the play is opening the always-open conversation around the social condition of the Woman. That Woman who, even if is allowed to play naked on the stage at our times, is still mistreated by the pretend-to-be super(ior)-Man.
The Program Note is shouting our eyes on the social issue: nothing about fictional fantasy tales, but real numbers. 15,750 family violence cases have been counted by the Dallas Police Department in four years. Evil does not need to knock at the door, he has got the key.
In this inspiring and optimistic work, the woman is at the center, is one and three. The woman is a servant, self-oppressive in respect of the role given to her by society (Dolores Godinez in the role of Rocio). The woman is chained up like a dirty beast, lying naked and hungry on the floor (Kristen Kelso in the role of Yolot). The woman is an abused loyal wife who is reawaken by maternity, finding her power into pure nature (Alejandra Flores in the role of Isadora). The tragedy is a victory for Women, a celebration of an utopian better fate, a revenge on the tyrant-husband (Ruben Carrazana in the role of Séptimo). The eye of the hope for a better morality is overlooking future generations incarnated by the newborn.
The cast is great. Kristen Kelso is outstanding, apparently debuting again after a long time (inexplicably) away from the stage.
The Kitchen Dog Theater is taking seriously its mission of leading us into unconventional views, to raise up our minds on social and moral issues. As a perfect hostess, I would personally welcome each single patron who is getting through the door of this hidden pearl of the Dallas cultural scene.