Second Hands and The Ladies’ Man (2019)
A self-described “ropavejera de la vida” operates a peculiar shop where, instead of second-hand apparel, customers purchase actual second hands in an effort to upgrade their aging features. Meanwhile, when Constanzo is summoned to his bedroom window at night by three women professing their love he tries unsuccessfully to send them away. Dragoncillo’s innovative use of shadow puppetry offers an energetic, cartoon-inspired take on two plays by 17th-century writer, Francisco de Quevedo.
Second Hands and The Ladies’ Man (2019), is a performance of two Spanish entremeses by seventeenth-century poet, novelist, and playwright, Francisco de Quevedo. The two plays, “El Marión” and “La ropavejera,” are represented using imaginative and original shadow puppets. This play will be featured at the AHCT Symposium, at public schools in El Paso, Texas, at the Latin American Film Festival and public schools in Grand Rapids, MI, and at Buena Vista University and public schools in Storm Lake, IA.
The play invokes laughs by inverting traditional gender expectations. Constanzo is a young man summoned to his bedroom window at night by three women who appear one after another in the street below. Worried that his father will discover him and his admirers, Constanzo tries unsuccessfully to shoo them away. When the last woman arrives with musicians in tow his father appears just as the quarrel among competitors erupts into street fight. Both father and son worry aloud over honor lost before Dad shrugs the question off and invites the musicians to play on.
The play introduces us to the title character Ropavejera, who proclaims herself a “ropavejera de la vida” who operates a peculiar shop where, instead of second-hand apparel, customers purchase actual second hands in an effort to upgrade their aging features. “Pues los cuerpos humanos,” Ropavejera assures us, “son de punto, como calza de aguja.” One by one the shopkeeper attends to her clients. Sancha enters looking for a new set of teeth. Crisostomo walks away with a handsome pair of legs. Godinez buys a more attractive face. Ortega picks up a mustache and Ana gets en elegant pair of hands. Business is booming and a group of travelling musicians sing the praises of this curious enterprise.