I will confess, I wasn’t quite certain what the play was about when we started working. I knew the story, was familiar with Anna Karerina, but what IS the play about? What is the theme?
It finally struck me during rehearsal – it’s not only about love, but all kinds of love. Forgiving love. Understanding love. Even misguided, misplaced, unrequited love. We are taught that love is supposed to be very straightforward: boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after. But that is not always the case. As much as there are good times there are bad times, arguments, struggles, indiscretions, and even pain. Love adapts and evolves, and it stops being so straightforward. As Conchita quotes in the play: “If there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”
True love survives a crisis, an indiscretion, an affair. It can die down, and if both parties are willing the fire can be rekindled. It doesn’t have to be only between a boy and girl. Who is to say what is right and what is wrong?
Love can also be misguided; unrequited love can turn violent. When acted upon, it has its own defense in court: crime of passion.
Directing Anna in the Tropics has truly been a love affair – with the text, with the new friendships forged, and with this fantastic cast and crew. Just the other day a cast member commented how this is the first time they’re in a show where everyone hugs and kisses hello and goodbye. Like the people in the cigar factory, we have been mesmerized by this text, and we hope you are too.