House of Sueños’s House of Trama

After being introduced to the cast of characters in episode one, this second instalment of Seattle Shakespeare’s House of Sueños by Meme García opens further into the family’s plethora of deep-seated emotional scars, from mental breakdowns to family betrayals, and overshadowed by the ongoing suffocation of the family’s Mexican heritage.

Bringing with it a return of the father’s ghost, episode two elegantly and spookily lays bare the pain and suffering of the Latin American experience. With so much of who they are and what they have lived through having been glazed over or tossed out, little remains of the family that once was. Showing this family in its current state, this episode questions what happened and why? Although the answers to these questions are not yet completely clear, the two things made abundantly obvious is that one, something happened that changed the course of the family’s future and, two, that there is at least one person who is willing to make things right. As the show is progressing, it is bringing to life the real experiences of many Latino families in a way that is dramatized but is also true to the emotional experiences of familial whitewashing or Americanization.

The growing role of mental health in this story as a response and manifestation of the family’s cultural disruption is also worth mentioning as it poignantly encapsulates and articulates the trauma that the sisters, as well as many others outside of the story, are facing. The severity and sincerity of this situation is brought vividly to life by stand out actor, Caro Zeller, as the sister Rina, who accomplishes the especially noteworthy feat of internalizing and expressing the complexities and expressiveness of the character in a way that constantly draws the audience’s attention and pulls them into the story.

Despite being an audio drama with little to recommend itself outside of the world of the sound effects and spoken word unlike its onstage counterpart, the story Meme García has built and shared is chock-full of skillfully woven language that provides a complete and engaging story outstanding in its own right. García’s beautifully crafted images and actions speak to the story’s rootedness in Latino culture and experience as the story continues to play out.

This audio drama is perfect for those who are looking for the theater they have been missing over the past couple months. Even for those who know no Spanish at all, this show is great for anyone who is interested in mysteries, Shakespeare, or simply learning about Latino experience.

House of Sueños, by Meme García. Produced by the Seattle Shakespeare Company. This audio drama is available through SSC’s podcast Rough Magic, which can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes are released weekly with the last episode being released on February 17th. All episodes will be available for listening through March 17th. Info: https://www.seattleshakespeare.org/rough-magic/

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