Monday, May 22, 2017

La Reina Yolanda at Fringe.


Leesa Castaneda, a a playwright, director and actress veteran of the Orlando theatre scene, is bringing her one woman show entitled La Reina Yolanda to the Orlando International Fringe Festival.

Written and performed by Leesa Castaneda and directed by Paul Castaneda, the play is about one woman's life from childhood adventures to her battle with Alzheimer's. The affection between the actress and director was evident as they talked during the tech. Sometimes the greatest journeys are the ones in our own mind. Yolanda, is a fierce Latina who we follow from childhood to old age. Beset by tragedy, she leans on her sharp mind and family to land on her feet. An advocate for her family and the less fortunate, her mind becomes ravaged by Alzheimer's. She's faced with the fight for her mind, sense of self and the family she has fought hard to protect. When who we are begins to disappear piece by piece, how do we hold on to the essence of what defines us?

Two painting on stage were done by La Reina herself. one showed a priest walking past a gorgeous woman in a red dress and high heels. it was as if the priest were considering abandoning his robes to turn and follow the woman. the other painting was probably a self portrait of La Reina. She looked stoic and strong. This was a tech rehearsal, which involved lots of lighting adjustments prior to a complete run through of the show. We had forgotten to bring tissues from the Shakespeare Theater bathrooms. It wasn't until the last scenes when sleeves had to be used. To see such an inspired and active woman loose her sense of identity was painful to watch.

La Reina Yolanda will have performances in the WHITE Venue
Remaining show times:
Monday, May 22nd 5:30 PM
Wednesday, May 24th 5:30 PM
Friday, May 26th 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 27th 4:00 PM
Sunday, May 28th 6:00 PM

The Orlando Fringe runs through May 29, 2017 in Loch Haven Park. Go to the Orlando Fringe website at orlandofringe.org for tickets and the Festival Dates and location.

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