HOUSE OF DESIRES by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to be Presented at Southwest Shakespeare Company

Written in 1683, the comedy is by a Mexican playwright hailed as the first female playwright of the new world: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
HOUSE OF DESIRES by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to be Presented at Southwest Shakespeare Company
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Southwest Shakespeare Company has revealed the fourth play in the company’s 30th Anniversary Season, House of Desires. Written in 1683, the comedy is by a Mexican playwright hailed as the first female playwright of the new world: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Hailed as a hero of Mexican letters and culture, de la Cruz was nicknamed “The Phoenix of America” by her contemporary critics.

House of Desires will be performed April 11 - 14 at Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale. Tickets are $45 and are on sale at SWShakespeare.org or by calling 480-644-6500.

Written in 1683, House of Desires is brilliantly translated into English by Catherine Boyle for the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of its exploration of plays from the Spanish Golden Age.

In this fascinating and delightful comedy of intrigue, de la Cruz examined the role of women in a time when they were subject to strict moral codes in society. Two couples strive to chart their own destiny, but only when the time is precisely right. A wild ride of mistaken identities and thwarted ambitions, complete with wily servants and witless nobles. 

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s new Executive Director explained the choice of the rare gem.

"Desires makes the perfect follow-up comedy to last year’s production at Taliesin West of Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare fans will detect echoes of its intrigue, blazing wit, and strong female lead."

House of Desires joins David Ives’s uproarious comedy adaptation of Molière, The School for Lies, already announced for Taliesin West which will be performed May 1 - 4. A ticket package for both Southwest Shakespeare plays at Taliesin is available for $75 (regularly $90). Visit SWShakespeare.org to purchase.

House of Desires features Andréa Ferraz as Doña Leonora. A native of Brazil, and now full-time Arizonan, Ferraz has performed with the prestigious Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Pasadena Shakespeare Festival, and the Pennsylvania and Richmond Shakespeare Festivals, with such luminary directors as Adrian Hall and Tadashi Suzuki.
About the Playwright

Hailed as the first professional playwright of the New World, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a hero of Mexican letters and culture. By the age of three, she had learned how to read and write Latin. By the age of eight, she composed a poem on the Eucharist, and by adolescence, Inés had mastered Greek logic, and was soon teaching Latin to young children. She also learned the Aztec language of Nahuatl and wrote some short poems in that language.  House of Desires is the beautifully funny translation into English by Catherine Boyle for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Boyle precisely captures Sor Joana’s love of language, wit, and the indomitable spirit of her leading character. Although writing from a convent, Sor Juana brought the old and new worlds together, and wrote herself into view, in creating Doña Leonora.




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