FREE MARKET (MERCADO
In Madrid, Spain
An indictment of a free market run amok that allows the rich and powerful to exploit defenseless people. The play spotlights violence against women, particularly undocumented immigrants who are forced into prostitution to support themselves and their children. Metaphorically it refers to general issues of abuse, domination, and exploitation of human beings that are hidden under market relationships. This powerful, prize-winning play premiered in Madrid and has since been translated to several languages and staged in various countries.
As the episodic structure develops, the wealthy lawyer becomes more and more physically aggressive at the expense of the woman he has hired until he makes her disappear. At the end, he magnanimously offers to secure financial support and perhaps even citizenship for her three children, who have been left to fend for themselves.
The action of the original play takes place in Madrid. In keeping with the author’s metaphorical intention, the translation deliberately reduces specific geographical references. Individual directors may, at their discretion, localize references to city districts and immigrant groups.
The single set may be a bare stage.
One man. A wealthy lawyer.
One woman. An undocumented immigrant.
Spanish premiere March 2009 at the municipal Teatro Español in Madrid, under the direction of Jesús Cracio.
The English translation of opening scene is scheduled to appear in
Asymptote, 2021. The full script was given a reading on Zoom by the playwrights'
collective of Door County, WI on May 3, 2021.
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