Puerto Ricanstruction: Hypnotic Puppetry Connects San Juan And Chicago Puerto Ricans
Each Monday, during the 2018 hurricane season, Worldview presents the series Puerto Ricanstruction. Three million American citizens on Puerto Rico still face catastrophe, many months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Experts predict just a “Category One” storm could wipe out power on the entire island for months. On Puerto Ricanstruction, we discuss post-Maria life in Puerto Rico, and issues that matter to the people living there, and to Chicago’s Puerto Rican Diaspora.
This week, we talk about how a Puerto Rico-based theater troupe, Y No Habia Luz (“And There Was No Light”), used hypnotic puppetry, and audience participation, to build bridges between Puerto Ricans in Chicago and San Juan. Four ensemble members were in Chicago this month to perform, and were the subject of a photo essay by Bill Healy. They left behind a puppet exhibit called “Circus of Absence”. It’s on display at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (3015 W. Division St.) through February 2019. We’ll talk about Y No Habia Luz’s Chicago experience and the exhibit with Omar Torres-Kortright, executive director of Chicago’s Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center. He helped sponsor their trip to Chicago.