Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Nun So Bold: Odalys Nanin Stars as Legendary Mexican Nun Sor Juana, Who Wooed a Countess with Poems That Still Live Today

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Nun So Bold: Odalys Nanin Stars as Legendary Mexican Nun Sor Juana, Who Wooed a Countess with Poems That Still Live Today

Article excerpt

A nun slips into her bed after observing the night sky, and underneath the sheets she begins to moan with pleasure. Her servant enters and tries to join her but is strongly rebuked. "My dear girl," the nun says tenderly, "if I ask you to leave, it is not because of what you have done but because of how weak I have been."

So begins The Nun and the Countess, a new play written, produced, and directed by Odalys Nanin, creator of 2001's acclaimed Garbo's Cuban Lover. The play, tutoring October 25 through December 14 at the Hollywood Court Theater in Los Angeles, is based on Alicia Gaspar de Alba's novel Sor Juana's Second Dream, about the real-life Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (played by Nanin), a 17th-century Mexican nun of such cultural impact that her face is now on the 200-peso bill. "She is considered the first feminist of the Americas," beams Nanin. "And she is considered to be the most prolific and famous poet of the golden age of Spanish literature."

The countess of the title, meanwhile, refers to the Spanish representative in Mexico, Countess Maria Luisa de Paredes (played by Jodi Fleisher), who formed a deep relationship with Sor Juana and was the subject of much of the nun's published romantic poetry--a fact hidden from most of her readers.

"I've been reading Sor Juana's poems since my college years," says Nanin with a wide, open smile. "It never crossed my mind that she was a lesbian. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.