The Ladies Room (Baño de Damas)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Venezuela
translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas
CAST: 10 women, 2 men
SCENIC REQUIREMENTS: A ladies restroom in an ``in'' nightclub.
The Ladies Room is a play with 10 female and 2 male characters which takes place in the bathroom of a popular bar/discotheque. Its plot revolves around the lives of the characters as they talk about themselves and their circumstances; spousal abuse, errant daughters, medical problems, career changes, politics and sexuality. The main subplot is Roland (a male transvestite) trying to get the opportunity to present a part of his ``show'' in which he imitates a real well-known soap opera star, who has also ended up in the ladies room. The superb dialogue and story lines, gleaned from actual secret recordings, culminates in a powerful surprise ending which has provoked much discussion and controversy wherever the work has been presented. Baño de Damas (The
Ladies Room, original version) has been acclaimed in the Latin America press and theatre circles after performances in Caracas (1987), Bogotá, Colombia (1988), Santo Domingo (1989), San Juan, Puerto Rico (1992). It was mounted in Lima, Peru and San Juan, Puerto Rico in fall 1995. Originally produced and published in Venezuela in 1987, it is a work of universal appeal which required this new ``updated, and less local'' 1996 version which was prompted by discussions I had with the author in April 1995 at a theatre festival in Caracas.