Like I’ve mentioned in the past, Washington Heights is on the cusp of all things artistically inclined. And although this fervor for the arts has always been prevalent throughout the five boroughs, it’s rarely magnified north of Times Square… until now. Apt.78 (cultural hub for us uptownies) has always been known to rally behind the arts with numerous art gallery shows, social networking events, popup shops, and now stage performances can be added to that list.
“So You Can Hear Me” premiered last week at Apt.78 with a great turnout. The play is written by (former educator and now playwright) Safiya Martinez, and is a one-woman play about Martinez’s childhood filled with adversity and unforgettable characters that helped shape what her life would be like as she transitioned into adulthood. As the play unravels, we see her go from a precocious aspiring entertainer, to caretaker, nurse, teacher, counselor, social worker, and even sometimes stepparent via her emotionally conflicted students.
Her experiences with her troubled students is one that hits home (being a former teacher myself) – and it is at this precise moment when you start to realize that it is not an easy task for children growing in this generation – especially when love and attention is not apart of their home environment. The performance is an emotional roller coaster that brings you to tears, and makes you question where is our Latino youth headed?
Safiya Martinez has gone from educator to now performer and playwright. Her one-woman show has captivated audiences on both coasts, and is now making its rounds uptown and the Bronx. “So You Can Hear Me” is also part of this year’s 2014 BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) Women Festival, and will have a special performance this Friday, March 14, 2014 at 8pm. For ticket info, click here. RBATC would also like to add that this stage performance was made possible by curator and owner of Apt.78, Jose Morales – AND the hard work of La Gerencia. La Gerencia (Founders: Carolina Alduey, Diana Mia Marte, Mariel Marte, Laura Marte) are a collective of innovative, hard working Latinas making their presence known in the uptown community. Bravo ladies, bravo!
To see Safiya’s promotional YouTube video, click here.
— Roz Baron