Charles Darwin, Her True Story

It's 2001 in southern Chile.  On the verge of receiving an unwanted lifetime achievement award from a ship full of wealthy US philanthropists, a clandestine backer of revolutions appears shipwrecked on a shrinking patch of thin ice along with a ghost, a gun, a knife and a secret admirer. Clues for survival come as the castaway relives past affairs with Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Fidel Castro, and others.

The play celebrates the potential for revolutionary change in everyone, and shows how survival skills developed in childhood can backfire later in life if unexplored or overused.

Charles Darwin, Her True Story was one of four plays selected via a national search by North Star for their 2020 New Plays Workshop Intensive, the Playwrights Center for their first Open Play Showcase actors’ reading, and by the Dramatists Guild for their Footlights actors’ reading series. 

Dramatic readings have included the following lead actors: Sarah Nina Hayon (Wintertime and English, Berkeley Rep), Sean San Jose (Artistic Director, Magic Theatre), Elena Ruggiero (Berkeley PlayCafe), Juan Amador (CampoSanto), Alisha Espinosa (NorthStar), and Joel Oramas (NorthStar).

Latinx Mafia produced Charles Darwin, Her True Story as one of nine plays selected for PlayGround's 2022 Innovators Showcase Festival, starring L. Duarte and Hector Zavala and directed by Terezina Vital.

Charles: Independent, driven and vengeful (f/29-80). Salvador: Loyal, attentive and just (m/43-65). Mara*: Ghost of Charles’ wise sister (f/18). Pablo: Loving, sage, Chilean poet/politician (m/45). Frida: Honest, sharp, dying Mexican artist (f/47). Fidel: Devoted, astute, Cuban Prime Minister (m/36). Nora: Moral, alert, Nicaraguan fighter (f/28). Marcos: Just, mindful, Mexican battle commander (m/41). Soldier*: Mexican army soldier. Voice-Over: Radio voices of a ship’s captain and US President Kennedy. Double Plans: Two Actors - Salvador as Pablo, Frida, Fidel, Nora, Marcos, Soldier and Voice-Over. Three Actors - Salvador as Pablo, Fidel, and Marcos. Mara as Frida, Nora, Soldier and Voice-Over. *Mara and/or Soldier can be cast or imagined; both are nonspeaking. All characters are Latinx.
J. Lynn Jackson