Hostos and the Hostos Repertory Company closed out Women’s History Month with a series of performances of the play, “The Most Massive Woman Wins,”Hostos and the Hostos Repertory Company closed out Women’s History Month with a series of performances of the play, “The Most Massive Woman Wins,” from March 29-31.

Written by award-winning playwright Madeleine George, it was directed and produced by Humanities faculty Natasha Lorca Yannacañedo and Ángel Morales, who is also the Artistic Director of the Hostos Repertory Theater. The play starred two Hostos student-actors, Destiny Allen and Candice Francis, as well as Jane Elliott, who teaches at Hostos and served as the vocal coach, and professional actor Audra Hans.

The performances included a couple of important firsts as student Marz Lovejoy served as the student dramaturg. Lovejoy recently won Region 1 at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and is going to Washington, DC, to compete in Nationals as a student theater critic—one of only four students nationwide.

Hostos student Natasha Collado also served as the stage manager and called the show, another first for the Repertory Company.

Yannacañedo, who began working at Hostos and the Repertory Theater in 2014, had directed Hostos’ performances of “I am an Emotional Creature,” by Eve Ensler and “Drawn and Quartered” by Maggie Bofill in the Black Box Theater. This was her first time directing in the Rep Theater.

She found working with George very rewarding, adding that she selected the play, which premiered 23 years ago, because of its relevant and timely message about self-discovery and tolerance.

“She is an incredibly generous and kind playwright,” Yannacañedo  said. “She was receptive to me changing a few words to make the play work for 2017, as it was originally written to take place in the 90s.”

As for the play, the story is both funny and honest. Told through a series monologues and short scenes, the characters of various shapes and sizes explore their perceptions of body image, while sitting in the waiting room of a liposuction clinic.

 “In our play, these women are at war with their bodies, and the people that are supposed to love and protect them have bullied them into and even financed some of their procedures,” Yannacañedo said. “Some things to consider: every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder according to The Eating Disorders Coalition for Research. … Body appreciation directly influences happiness. However, I have yet to meet a woman that is satisfied with her body the way it is.”

Others who were key to the success of the play’s run were: Jeannipher Pacheco (costume design); Sophie Talmadge Silleck (lighting design); Ojedele Paloma (sound design) and Bill Sorice (stage manager).

The performances were made possible by the support of the Eugenio María de Hostos Community College Foundation, Coalition of Theaters of Color, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, NY Assemblyman José Rivera, NYC Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., Office of the President, Office of Academic Affairs, Hostos Student Association and Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture.

Enjoy photos from a performance in this Hostos Facebook photo album.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for nearly half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.