Juanita’s Statue, The Director’s Perspective


Michael Yawney, director of the Department of Theatre’s upcoming production of Juanita’s Statue by Anne Garcia-Romero, describes the play as “a lot of lighthearted fun and a little thoughtful. This production is full of frantic chases, telenovela-like love scenes and action packed fights. Audiences will feel like they are standing in the middle of a race track as characters rush, collide and whiz by each other at every possible moment.” Michael hopes that everyone coming out to enjoy the show will laugh and snuggle a little closer to the person sitting next to them. One of the things that intrigued him about the play is that it deals with topics everyone can relate to, like the feeling of crushing self-doubt after losing a loved one or the intoxicating boost of confidence as new love blossoms. Somehow, the author manages to delve into potentially painful topics in a delightful way.

Juanita’s Statue is based on the premise of a young woman who disguises herself as a man and surprisingly discovers that she is irresistibly attractive to both sexes. The play is set in an undisclosed town where Spanglish is commonly heard, not unlike Miami. It revolves around a chase with moving walls and arches, set to the beat of wonderful vintage boogaloo. South Florida audiences are going to love the fast paced, crazy, rhythmic mix of Spanish and English in which the characters speak, along with the lively music and vibrant colors. Come out expecting to have a good time!

Directing Juanita’s Statue has been a collaborative process for Michael who believes that people work more effectively when they are part of a team. The designers meet regularly to share ideas about how to make the show a success and to iron out any production wrinkles that arise. The actors are in rehearsals every night working on perfecting their characters.  Everyone is diligently working together to create an enjoyable, riveting production for theatre-goers.

The main challenge he has encountered in staging Juanita’s Statue involves timing. This play requires amazing precision because it is so fast paced that if an actor takes one misstep, they will very likely be run over by everyone else.  Therefore, the choreography must be exact while appearing effortless. It is a small obstacle that Michael is confident the actors will overcome by opening night.

For more information about Juanita’s Statue, please click here.

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