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Slavery/Women/Writing: 21 Refracted Portraits Based on Writings of Eduardo Galeano

In January, Pomona College Theatre Professor Thomas Leabhart found a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s book, Mirrors, in an airport bookstore in India. A long-time admirer of Galeano’s writing, he happily devoured this most recent work during the subsequent long flight, and upon arrival in Claremont knew he’d like to spend more time with it. Scheduled to teach a course entitled Collective Creation in the fall semester, he found the material perfect for eventual transformation into performance. He obtained permission from Galeano’s North American literary agent, and he and 14 eager students and two guest artists set to work. The performance “Slavery/Women/Writing: 21 Refracted Portraits” is the result. While the students selected texts, decided among themselves who would perform which parts, and improvised and finally set blocking, Leabhart provided a framework within which these elements achieve coherence, serving as acting coach, editor and “outside eye.” This is a presentation for theatre lovers, admirers of Galeano’s deconstructed views of history, and anyone who likes to challenge preconceived notions about history and performance.