The Mathematics of Love - "Perhaps it was just the cry of a woman wanting freedom"

The Mathematics of Love is a provocative new play that creates a fascinating intersection between past and present.
— Lisa Manter, Theatrius

Read the full review in Theatrius here.                              

In a landscape dominated by white male voices, Cherríe Moraga has successfully raised her pen to add hers to the canon.  Her return to her Brava roots  Cherríe is a co-founder of Brava is without a doubt one of the most anticipated moments in current theater. The Mathematics of Love opened with a thunderous standing ovation from a sold out crowd this past Saturday. Don't miss this seminal work from one of the world's most vital voices. Remaining performances Thur-Sun, August 17-27. Tickets

Of The Mathematics of Love, Cherrie Moraga says: "I began 'Mathematics' in the effort to tell a Mexican and American story about how the two cultures first encountered one another in a genocidal history in the making; but more importantly to me, as a feminist writer, it was a history shaped by the intimate sexual encounter between a European man and an Indigenous woman. Malinxe Tenepalwas a Native American slave who was given to the Spanish Conquistador, Hernan Cortés upon his arrival in Mexico in 1519.  She became his mistress, translator and tactical advisor in the conquest and, although a slave, is historically considered a “traitor” to Indigenous Mexico.

The story of Malinche and Cortés, the symbolic “parents” of México, parallels the much more benign union of my own parents (my Anglo father, Joseph, married my Mexican mother, Elvira, in 1948).  “Mathematics” is a story that began with these facts, but readily took on the deeper truth of fiction.   

My mother’s Alzheimer’s served as the initial writing catalyst for the play.  Through her dis-ease, I learned to marvel at the body’s capacity to remember even as it forgets its words. When Elvira, the matriarch of a 100-plus relations and the family (oral) chronicler, began to forget, her silence ignited in me a sudden visceral recognition of the cultural knowledges that had been denied us as Mexicans in the U.S.  The lost has been vast and profound.

Indian memory resurrects itself in the body of its descendants. History comes to visit us in our children and grandchildren and through the phenomenal promise of theater. Through writing, I’ve found resonance between the grand story of Malinche and the ‘small’ life of a Mexican- American woman, living with her gringo husband, two blocks from the Indian burial grounds of the San Gabriel Mission, where I grew up. 

It has been pure privilege to witness this work come to realization through the collective spirit and enormous talent of all its collaborators.  I am grateful."

                                                                                                                    – Cherríe Moraga

Photos on this page by Gareth Gooch