The "NN12" cast includes, from left: Janelle Aguirre, Belgica Paola Rodriguez and Alejandro Morales-Giacoman. (Photo: Dawn Monique Williams)
“NN12,” a play about the living and the dead, will make its English language debut Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Cal State East Bay. Performances begin at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward 94542.
Author Gracia Morales of Granada, Spain, will be on campus to discuss the play with students and faculty at 10 a.m. Nov. 29 in the Studio Theatre, and before and after each performance.
“NN,” short for “names unknown,” is a reference to an unknown person; “NN12” refers to 12 unknowns found in a 30-year-old, mass grave in an unspecified location –– possibly in Latin America or Spain.
Winner of the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) Prize in 2008, the play focuses on one of the bodies –– the only female –– through the experiences of four characters: an orphan, a pathologist, an old man and NN12 herself.
Professor Rhoda Kaufman, theatre and dance, learned of the play and commissioned this English translation from Della Peretti of Oakland, and Beverly Bevis of Cambridge, England, with help from Professor Emmanuelle Garnier of Toulouse University, a scholar of post modern Spanish women playwrights.
“Rhoda's main area of research is finding plays by international women playwrights who are not already well-known in the U.S.," said Thomas Hird, professor and chair of theatre and dance. "The plays she finds are often not translated into English.”
Dawn Monique Williams ’03, theatre and dance, is directing the CSUEB performance by Janelle Aguirre, Belgica Paola Rodriguez, Alejandro Morales-Giacoman and Sean Hobbs.
“Morales merges the past and present in a beautifully challenging way," Williams said. "We get a portrait of the life of the missing, but also of the survivors. The cost of reconciliation here is hauntingly high and deeply moving.”
Purchase tickets, $5, online or by calling (510) 885-3118.