Book and lyrics by: Kathleen Cahill
Original music by: Deborah Wicks La Puma
Directed by: Elena Velasco
Catholic University (Washington, DC) – 2014
Also staged at:
Grand Theatre (2017) – directed by Seth Miller
Set during Day of the Dead festivities “A long time ago in Mexico,” the play includes various performance languages, including music and movement. Shakespeare’s character names are drastically changed, except Perdida (for Perdita) and the character of Time, here “SPIRIT OF TIME: a balladeer, leader of the Conjunto.” Other characters include an onstage band with vocalists and dancing spirits. The show contains nineteen musical numbers, and the play opens with a song performed by the band who are dressed as calacas, followed by Time’s address to the audience. The primary elements of Shakespeare’s plays remain.
The 2014 production at Catholic University of America was directed by Elena Velasco. The music “almost operatic in scope but featuring traditional Spanish influences and syncopated rhythms” including Mexican folk music. Velasco “incorporated elements from mime, acrobatics, and gymnastics. In uniquely challenging roles, two actors portraying the spirits of life and death remain nonverbal through the entire play, but crawl and climb all over the stage.” Velasco directed the play for her thesis production while earning her MFA in Directing at Catholic University. She chose the piece because “While there is no major political statement in La Perdida, the nature of forgiveness goes to the heart of what is necessary in activism.” She also chose the piece because it centers on women and was authored by women.
CARLA DELLA GATTA
To learn more about the play, listen to a sampling of the music, and purchase a copy of the script, see here.
 Kathleen Cahill, Perdida, Woodstock: Dramatic Publishing Company, 2015: 5.
 Cahill, 5.
 Johnna Leary, “La Perdida at Catholic University,” DC Metro Theatre Arts, 21 November 2014. Accessed 28 February 2017.
 “Shakespeare Goes South of the Border with La Perdida,” The Catholic University of America, 30 October 2014. Accessed 28 February 2017.
 Tori Boutin, “Mistakes and Forgiveness in La Perdida,” CUA Drama, 13 November 2014. Accessed 7 March 2017.