Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 4:45 am | Fair 50º


UCSB Stages Reading of Professor’s ‘Zona Rosa’

The new play by Carlos Morton is a dramatic reconstruction of the events surrounding the murder of a doctor in Mexico City

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance will present a dramatic reading of professor Carlos Morton’s new play, Zona Rosa, at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday in the Performing Arts Ballet Studio Theatre at UCSB.

Carlos Morton
Playwright Carlos Morton at the U.S.-Mexico border, a crude materialization of his subject matter.

The play will be directed by Mark Valdez, with the assistance of graduate Angela Cruz, and will be read by UCSB theater students.

Before joining the faculty at UCSB, Morton had written plays for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center Theatre, La Compania Nacional de Mexico, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and the Arizona Theatre Company.

His most recent book is Children of the Sun: Scenes and Monologues for Latino Youth. In 2006-07, he was named Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer to Poland.

Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) is a district in Mexico City where homosexuals congregate. Morton’s play is a dramatic reconstruction of the events surrounding the murder of a medical doctor in 1992.

Extrapolating from the dominance of the “macho” principal in Mexican society, we might suppose that homosexuals have a pretty tough time of it in Mexico. We would be right, in that homosexuals — males, especially — have suffered considerable humiliation and abuse on the basis of their condition.

Nevertheless, before we Anglo-Saxons begin to pat ourselves too vigorously on our backs for our (relatively newfound) tolerance, I hasten to remind us that, unlike here and in Great Britain, as Dr. Eusebio Rubio points out in his groundbreaking study, “There are no legal restrictions for homosexual behavior, although lower-level authorities, i.e., local police, sometimes exert repression against the homosexual individuals, a manifestation more of internalized homophobia than institutionalized persecution.”

You can’t beat the Puritans for putting a person in jail because they are different. In England, of course, the stringent laws against homosexual behavior combined with a notably high percentage of homosexuals in the population bred a virulent blackmail industry.

Zona Rosa had staged readings at the Macha Theatre and the Matrix Theatre in Hollywood earlier this year. Admission is free to this week’s readings, but seating is limited. To reserve a seat, contact Eric Mills at the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance at 805.893.3022 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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