Sunday Jul 27, 2014
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A staged reading of the play written by Quiara Alegria Hudes.
When young Caribbean islander Jesùs reaches for his first bottle of ice-cold Coke, he recoils and drops it, as if it’s stung him. Turns out this is his first encounter not only with Coca-Cola, but with refrigeration, and it will prove a bracing awakening. Jesùs’s coming of age and into bigger worlds is the story of Yemaya’s Belly, the winner of the 2003 Clauder Competition for New England Playwriting, by Quiara Alegria Hudes. As a result of winning a game of dominoes against his wily uncle Jelin and the village rum peddler Tico, Jesùs happens to be away in the city with his uncle, drinking that cold Coke, when his village burns to the ground and kills his parents. He won’t stay in the village after that. He wants his name on a neon sign; he wants to stay in the fanciest hotel; he wants to meet America’s President, and so steals back to the city. There he helps a woman named Lila run her grocery, sleeps on the shop’s floor, and befriends the young port-rat Maya, whose mother once ran a business boating immigrants to America. He dreams nonstop of the land where there are, Maya tells him, "1000 different kinds of Coke." Directed by Jonathan Harrell.