Anarchy Chiapas: The Issue of Racial Discrimination, Freedom of Speech and Political Authoritarianism

 
Photo by Maria Krapivko

Photo by Maria Krapivko

On March 31st and April 1st the stage of Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California was filled with revolutionary speeches, cabaret music and brilliant acting of the cast of “Anarchy Chiapas” - a new play written and directed by Rick Mitchell. The audience followed multiple story lines about a playwright who came down to San Cristobal, Mexico to stage her new play about a novelist and anarchist B. Traven – an impostor who had different identities to cover his tracks and escape from the Nazi regime.

Photo by Maria Krapivko

Photo by Maria Krapivko

B. Traven was played by young and multi-talented actor Anatoliy Ogay who’s bold and cunning character was illuminating the stage throughout the entire show, not giving the audience even a second to catch their breath going from a scene, to a cabaret song and back to the rehearsal room of a Mexican city hall. Using the convention of a “play-within-a-play” Anatoliy Ogay and his talented cast-mates Matthew Hendricks, Diana Castrillon, Jhonnatan Cano and Victoria Scaramucci were masterfully switching between different eras, characters and their accents leading the viewers through the cold streets of Nazi Germany, to the hot town of Chiapas, To San Cristobal and the rebel movement of the Zapatista Army in 1993.

Photo by Maria Krapivko

Photo by Maria Krapivko

The play addresses the issues of the people of the different eras, however relevant more than ever today – the issue of racial discrimination, freedom of speech and political authoritarianism.