InnerMission Productions continues to amaze audiences with energetic and thought provoking pieces.
Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman, running until December 10th at the Diversionary Black Box, was not only presented with perfect timing, but also in an ideal space. Intimate and raw.
The place where the story is set is not specified; it might be Honduras. There is a civil war and, as with all conflicts, unfair events take place with no alternative and no explanation. Luis (Bernardo Mazón) is a newlywed miner who decides to switch jobs and become a soldier in the war, to make more money and provide for a better life with wife Monica (Jennifer Paredes). He leaves to work five weeks and then returns home for one week. Monica starts noticing not-so-positive changes in her husband’s demeanor, as well as missing body parts. Close by, is the town doctor Moises (Jorge Rodriguez) and his wife Belen (Sandra Ruiz). Belen reacts to the war and tries to help any way she can – ways that bring misfortune. Moises secludes himself and wants no part in it all. Until Eugenio (Miguel Gongora Jr.) a priest, comes to him due to a weird virus affecting the children. Moises discovers a miraculous power within his touch and starts to heal the children. Monica in desperation visits the doctor. The pieces of the puzzle start coming together, and things finally make sense in a karmic way.
I am not a fan of pieces that combine dialogues in various languages. Especially when it comes to Hispanic settings. In my (very personal) case, it totally throws me off and I feel it not to be necessary. Yet, this production is majestic. Carla Nell’s direction is on point bringing out the core feeling of each actor to deliver onstage, a few steps from the audience which results in a boiling pot of strong emotions. Jorge Rodriguez comes back to theater after a 12-month sabbatical, and what a comeback! He is simply fantastic. Vanguard Culture colleague Miguel Gongora Jr. as Eugenio the priest, delivers a character with a haunted soul that rounds out the scene beautifully. Jennifer Paredes’s tender portrayal of Monica is moving.
It is great to see that these types of pieces are being done in San Diego and in spaces like the Diversionary Black Box. And in this case, exploring traditions and reactions of a history that Central and South America have suffered decade, after decade, after decade. It totally brings a checkpoint into a different reality and a better understanding of the “what and why” on various topics like immigration, injustice and conflict.