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Cuban-born playwright revisits theme of forbidden lesbian love with 'Skin of Honey'

Playwright Odalys Nanin revisits her native Cuba with her tale of a forbidden lesbian love, "Skin of Honey."

 

Odalys Nanin is a director, playwright, producer and actor. She’s appeared in TV commercials and had her plays produced in New York and Los Angeles. Her acclaimed “Skin of Honey,” about a lesbian love affair between two Cuban women, has won numerous awards, and Nanin is recognized as one of most influential Latinas in the U.S. theater community.

Written in 2007, "Skin of Honey" received a Los Angeles Times Critic’s Choice Award, and, she told Fox News Latino, that she decided to  which was revived in June because she felt the time was finally right.

"[It] is a forbidden love story that opens in 1961during the Bay of Pigs invasion," she told FNL. The protagonists are separated. One woman grows up in Fidel Castro’s revolution and the other becomes a Cuban-American exile, and they meet again 20 years later to rekindle their love.

“When Obama went to Cuba, I was delighted, and I wanted to bring the play back,” Nanin said.

In 2000, the Cuban-born artist founded the MACHA theater company – the name stands for Mujeres Advancing Culture, History and Art – which she launched because there were few venues that showed plays by and about Latinas.

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Nanin's plays “Vargas Llosas' La Chunga,” “Garbo’s Cuban Lover,” "Beyond Love" and “The Nun and the Countess” have received numerous awards and honors, as did her adaptation and translation of Federico García Lorca's “Blood Wedding.” 

Nanin also has written, directed and produced two short films, “Only One Suitcase” and “Garbo’s Cuban Lover." 

The themes of “Skin of Honey” run deep in much of Nanin’s work. As a Cuban-immigrant and lesbian, she’s familiar with how it feels to leave behind the family and culture you feel so connected to and then to accept who you are.

While she sees some improvement in the culture of tolerance on the communist island, "I think there's still discrimination and it's still difficult. There's more acceptance, but there's a long way to go," she told Fox News Latino. "It's also important not to forget how many people sacrificed their lives in Cuba in the struggle to be free."

 

Rebekah Sager is a writer and editor for FoxNews.com. She can be reached at rebekah.sager@foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager.

 

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