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Play Depicts Sufferings Of Love And War


April 6, 2003
Copyright © 2003
THE STAR-LEDGER. All rights reserved. 

When Eva Cristina Vasquez came to City University of New York from Puerto Rico in 1991, she found herself demonstrating against the first Persian Gulf War.

"I was the only Puerto Rican in the dorm among students watching developments of the war on TV, and I felt so different, ethnically, from the others," she says. "But I knew I was against war. I don't believe in going to other countries and forcing our ideas upon them. So I went out and joined the anti-war demonstrations."

Vasquez hasn't lost her anti-war passion, evident in a one-woman play she has written and is performing, about four generations of women in a Puerto Rican family and their suffering during war. "Amor Perdido (Lost Love)" premieres at Teatro Circulo at the Blue Heron Theatre in New York on Thursday.

"Amor Perdido" is also a popular song by Pedro Flores about gains and losses. Vasquez first heard the song when she was a child living with her grandmother, the inspiration for one of the women she portrays in the play. "In war, as in life, we gain something, but we also lose something," she says. "The four women in the play lose and gain. There are love affairs and there (is disillusionment)."

Vasquez began sketching the first part of her play after the 1991 war, inventing a woman who joins the Army "as a road out of poverty and toward educational opportunity." She didn't do much with the play until after 9/11. She then began writing about women during World War II - fashioned after stories she heard from her grandmother - and the Vietnam War. The last segment of the play is set in the year 2035, when a fourth generation is still struggling with war.

Vasquez has just completed her doctorate in Latino Theater at CUNY. In addition to her work with Teatro Circulo, which she helped found 10 years ago, she has appeared with other Latino New York companies, including Repertorio Espanol, Teatro Thalia and Teatro Pregones.

"Amor Perdido" is being performed through April 20 at the Blue Heron, 123 E. 24th St.. Performances are Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $25, $20 students and seniors. The show is in Spanish; an English synopsis is available. To reserve, call Teatro Circulo, (212) 505-1808.

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