Collection Title: Jesusa Rodríguez & Liliana Felipe : El Hábito collection
Title: El derecho de abortar
Alternate Title: Right to abort
Date: 1998
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Work Type: Performance., Cabaret., Theater., Satire., Political performance., Queer performance.
Jesusa Rodríguez, writer, producer, director ; Liliana Felipe, producer, musical director ; Carlos Pascual, writer.
Jesusa Rodríguez, Liliana Felipe, Isela Vega, Diego Jáuregui, Carlos Pascual, Pedro Kóminik.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:34:56
Language: In Spanish.
Synopsis: Monica 'Lengüinsky' (played by Jesusa Rodríguez) flees to Mexico during the Clinton scandal, becomes a TV writer, and produces 'El Derecho de Abortar,' a show that is a cross between a 'pastorela' (Nativity play) and a 'telenovela' (soap opera). This 'pastonovela' features Virgin Mary and Joseph of Nazareth as two wealthy Mexicans tormented by the ambiguous sexuality of their cross-dressing son, Jesus Christ. In a failed attempt to 'straighten him out,' they employ a prostitute ('María Magdalena' Lengüinsky), who ends up discovering that Jesus is really a hermaphrodite, that he is pregnant, and that the father of his unborn child is St. Joseph himself. When Jesus gets an abortion, Lengüinsky sees her chance to profit from the situation: she blackmails the Holy Family by threatening to go public with the truth about Jesus.Putting their own social status first (including Joseph's political career as a candidate to the Mexican presidency), the Holy Family decides to sacrifice Jesus and sells Lengüinsky the copyright to all images of the crucifixion. 'El Derecho de Abortar' is a poignant satirical commentary on the corruption, intolerance, and contradictory morality at work in the catholic-capitalist society of Mexico. Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodréguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a chameleon, Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones.Her espectáculos (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body. Rodriguezs energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. Liliana Felipe, one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, was born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared'--victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics.Liliana's music has a wide following in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations--especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared). In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodríguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: I am going to die with that woman. Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Hábito in Coyoacán, Mexico City, that they still run. They 'married' in February 2000. El Hábito ( is a hotbed for intellectuals, feminists, gay rights activists and open-minded, progressive people who want to be engaged by a smart and critical humor. In this off-off space, and with the collaboration of their theater cooperative Las Divas, Jesusa y Liliana have produced hundreds of shows since the 1980s.
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Copyright Holder: El Hábito
Contact: Jesusa Rodríguez, Liliana Felipe
Jesusa Rodríguez
Liliana Felipe
Madrid 13
Coyoacán, México D.F., 04100