by Elaina Avila
THE TRUE STRANGE STORY OF A 17th CENTURY NUN WHO BECAME AN INFAMOUS CONQUISTADOR
“There is no name for what I am. You would have to make a new word.”
It’s the 17th Century; the armies of Spain are slaughtering their way across the New World, and one renowned conquistador, Antonio de Erauso, is famed for his ferocity – until, on trial for murdering his own brother, facing execution, Antonio pleads for clemency – by revealing that he’s actually an escaped nun. Imprisoned and enchained, haunted by the ghosts of the slain, the Lieutenant Nun confesses the story that has been kept secret for so long….
“New words must be freshly made, on the spot,
for a creature you have never seen, a fruit you have never tasted. It’s the New World!”
Elaine Avila, a Canadian playwright of Azorean/Portuguese descent, has a passion for exploring untold stories. Frequently incorporating music, politics and humor, her work is described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate… inviting, wide-ranging” (Caridad Svich), “open, generous” (Erik Ehn) and “a wonderful writer, tremendously gifted, reliable, and innovative.” (Suzan-Lori Parks). Her plays have premiered in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, New York City, Seattle, New Mexico, Lisbon, Portugal and London, England. Recent/upcoming work: Jane Austen, Action Figure; Kitimat; Quality: the Shoe Play, Lieutenant Nun, Burn Gloom, La Frontera/The Border, Lost and Found in Fado. Awards: Victoria Critic’s Circle for Best New Play, Audience Favorite Festival de Cocos, Panama City; Winner, Disquiet International Short Play Competition, Lisbon; Canada Council (numerous). She has taught in universities from British Columbia to Tasmania, China to Panama. Publications include: NoPassport Press (Jane Austen, Action Figure and other Plays, in 24 Gun Control Plays), Howlround, Canadian Theatre Review, American Theater, Café Onda, TCG Circles (Artistry and Innovation, Crossing Borders) Contemporary Theatre Review, Lusitania. She is the Playwright in Residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles and was recently distinguished as a descendentes notáveis (Notable Descendant) for her theatre work by the Government of the Azores, Portugal.”