A Spanish actress in Havana

Eva González, a Spanish actress who has been living in Cuba for over 18 years, has just staged Salome, a play based on Oscar Wilde's literary piece, which deals with a woman's conflicts, doubts and emotions. "It is really thought-provoking," she said. "It is about love and life," she added.

"While Salome is mythical and timeless, Candela -another character she plays- is a devoted, contradictory, transparent, sentimental woman of her time," she indicated.

"I identify with Candela because I have also experienced loneliness and maladjustment myself," she stressed.

"This character has taught me that we should be neither too unyielding nor too tolerant. We should always try to find the right balance between these two attitudes," she told SEMlac.

"Those who are actually courageous can overcome fear," she noted. "I think we women have a little of both Candela and Salome," she emphasized.

"Salome's love is unbounded, inappropriate and unhealthy, but life today is full of all that," she remarked.

The play mixes tragedy and comedy, musical and cabaret, in an uncomplicated set design that is well supported by music, light and impeccable performance. It deals with other issues such as friendship, identity, and social prejudices.

"Passivity and asepsis are totally useless, as over-control is. We are becoming beings who too often forget the value of solidarity and family," she told SEMlac.

González wrote and directed the play for the first time when her son was born a decade ago.

"I come from a theatrical tradition that demands multifaceted artists," she recalled.

"As I have had to raise my son almost alone, I have focused on writing and one-woman plays," she added.

"Salome was premiered in Cuba and Spain in 2003, and it was only in 2010 when I returned to the stage," she commented.

"I am now different, so I am playing a different Candela. I am much more committed to women's conflicts and very willing to take up risks," she indicated.

She asks the audience to interact and let her know what they really think. The feedback includes comments like "you are crazy, but I love it"; "I like realist, humanistic theater"; "It is a special play that touches on key issues like sexuality"; and "It is controversial, interesting, creative, and magic."

"I strongly believe that theater is art rather than decor," she stressed.

"Some colleagues have told me that the feminist discourse is over, but I really think it is not," she emphasized.

"We women are still expected to be pretty, hard-working and pleasing, especially in bed," she indicated.

"Striking a balance between our emotions and feelings is something extremely difficult to achieve," she noted.

"I was assisted this time by my husband Edel Figueredo, a painter whose latest collection (Women, reason, passion) was on display at all performances.

"My idea now is to develop a community-based cultural project under the umbrella of the National Association of Cuban Artists and Writers (UNEAC)," she anticipated.

"I believe that initiatives like this project can be self-sustainable and include the organization of meetings and workshops on personal growth and hope at a time of disillusionment and moral crisis," she concluded.

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