“Luz” is a performance piece about a fourteen-year-old girl named Luz who believes herself to be Jesus. The piece is written in the form of a play and was performed with beat poets, dancers, mask makers and mimes.
The play chronicles the story of Luz Santos in a made-up town somewhere in the United States. Luz is peculiar. Or is it the world around her? It’s impossible to tell really… because
being fourteen is… or Womanhood, rather
like a hand,
covering a mouth,
and then asking you to speak.
So it comes down to two options: either Luz is a freak or she’s Jesus.
As Luz’s inner life is on the brink of apocalypse, she meets an angel—Mista Masta Docta Priestess, a shape-shifting bus driver who offers her a ride to hell/heaven. Heaven is on the brink of collapse; the angels are dying and turning to salt, falling into the sea. It is up to Luz to save the world world before her own universe falls apart.
The play was my thesis in college, where I got to direct and design the play in a black box theater space. Using puppetry, mask, heightened theatricality and Butoh movement work, the ensemble of “Luz” manifested and led us into an architectural and emotional world of bullies, freaks, angels and exorcisms. The set was built out of found fence posts and driftwood by woodworker and sculptor Alexander Heald. The set was constructed on wheels and moved like a large kinetic puppet throughout the course of the play.
The performance was received by a diverse variety of audience members. Many junior high and high school students remarked that they felt as though Luz’s journey was very much like their own.