July 12 2002

Virginia Hernández

Por Pablo De Sainz

Women in Mexican arts have an important role, because through them, women have the chance to destroy stereotypes and social conditions, to better the life of women in Mexico.

Theatre is an artistic discipline where women have contributed a countless number of plays that voice many of the problems affecting women.

A common problem among the female population, is that of image and nutrition. That is: magazines and the media tell women that to be beautiful and successful, they have to be thin. So, many young females get on diet, constantly watch their nutrition, or, in many cases, stop eating.

The consequences: eating disorders, (Red: Bulimia, Anorexia), low self-esteem among over-weight women, because they feel ugly or inferior due to their weight.

A Baja California playwright attacks this problem in a new play. The writer is Virginia Hernández, and it is titled “Sanborn’s Light” (Caen editores, 2002)

The title refers to the setting and to a popular food chain” Sanborn’s Restaurant. It is common for friends to meet at Sanborn’s to enjoy famous enchiladas Suizas, with chicken, tortillas, lots and lots of cheese and cream. Obviously, not a very healthy menú. Many calories.

The protagonists of “Sanborn’s Light” are described this way:

“Filiberto, fat. Gaudencio even fatter, and Cleo truly has reached the extreme.”

So, this is the story of three fat people, two males and a female, who go to Sanborn’s for dinner, something light, because the three, each in its on way, are on a diet. Cleo, fat-ass Cleo, is the amateur nutritionist who’s an expert in diets and who advises and watches what the others eat.

The play develops with a series of dialogues that are brief, fast, and funny. It continues when two characters appear: the costumer and the waitress, the first one sells death insurance, the other is depressed.

So, the play with its 3 fat people, little by little, forgetting the diets, begins to fill up with food, desserts, and beer. Soon it becomes a new absurdest play, where reality, even if it’s rare is an accepted reality.

“Sanborn’s Light” is a horrific play full of velocity and fastfood. Born in Ensenada, Baja California, Hernández has written a play that tackles a serious problem from an informal point of view.

Mexican writer Vicente Leñero, said that “it becomes a cruel reflection of our reality. (The characters) become unstoppable puppets talking and acting and living in a velocity out of record.”

The play it’s like eating a banquet full of calories and filling up with food without thinking about consequences.

The important thing, after all, is to be satisfied. And with “Sanborn’s Light,” one has the belly and the mind happy.

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