La niña tumbada
LITTLE GIRL LAID
A couple of years ago, an article in the Spanish press that got a lot of attention concerned a little girl in Central America who had been raped. There was talk of allowing her an abortion, and for several days, opinions about this option appeared in tWhat became of that little girl? I needed to know how that awful adventure had ended, so I researched the subject and discovered something terrible. Her rape was not an isolated event, but rather representative of many others and of numerous little girls who had suffered unspeakable violence. Apparently this pattern of behavior is common in rural areas of Central America. And as if that were not enough, I learned that a large number of these children, incapable of living with the horror of their experience, had chosen suicide. I thought that the voices of these young girls must not be silenced; that they should ring out; shock the ears and wake up the whole world so that we can put a stop to this barbarity. For that reason, the child in my play has no name. She is simply the little girl “laid” [literally: downed, toppled], for in that part of the world, this euphemism is applied to little raped girls. Enjoying impunity there, men routinely take advantage of the isolated terrain and relative helplessness of their victims. When confronted, some “macho” types simply shrug off this practice as a custom consecrated by time and routine; sort of like playing cards, getting drunk or beating your wife. It’s a daunting task for a dramatist to launch a piercing scream from a tiny text. But theater has the magic to awaken emotions, and those who attended a dramatic reading of my play left deeply moved. That response makes the effort worthwhile and urges me to give voice to other little girls and women who, for various reasons, wear gags…, are simply silent…. or grotesquely “laid”... Little Girl Laid, featuring a female protagonist, is very much in the line of my theater. Through such characters, I express my world view.