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Fall in love with ‘Los Empeños de Una Casa’

Erik Acosta
‘Los Empeños de Una Casa’ is a bilingual production that had its opening night Feb. 23 at the Wise Family Theatre located at the UTEP Fox Fine Arts building.

As the season of love dwindles, an epic showdown of battle for love begins to blossom at the Wise Family Theatre. “Los Empeños de Una Casa” is a new bilingual production and theatrical showdown that opened Feb. 23, and brings the Spanish Golden Age to life. Written by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the show functions as a rom-com set in 1680s, Spain and explores the infamous themes of love, revenge and jealousy.   

Produced by the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance, this witty production is full of mayhem as the audience undergoes a journey of romance while watching young lovers fill their hearts’ desires. 

One of the young lovers is Doña Ana, played by Aleyana Flores, who is madly in love with Don Carlos, played by Charleigh Tallman. Flores considers being a part of the show an honor as she was able to highlight de la Cruz’s work and the culture the El Paso community has to offer.   

“To be a part of this production is an honor in itself, being able to honor Sor Juana’s work but also the work by the translation team of the collaboration between EPISD’s Young Women’s STEAM (Research) and Preparatory Academy as well the translation class that we had here,” Flores said. “It’s been amazing to put this (show on) and bring it to life.” 

Ana is not the only character struck by Cupid’s arrow; Doña Lenor, played by Luciana Molina, is also in love with Carlos and he is in love with her. This tangled web of affection continues throughout the play as Don Juan, played by Decourtenay Houghton, has fallen head over heels with Ana, but she does not know about it.   

Bachelor Don Pedro, played by Martin Troitiño, is later introduced into the play as he falls in love with Lenor, but she does not feel the same. As the audience undergoes an experience of sword fights, blind love and a romantic garden, it is a production that leaves viewers captivated for more.   

“People should come see it because it is a bilingual play, and it is for the people of El Paso,” Houghton said. “The play parallels life, shows comparisons between real life and art, and I think people can learn some things about themselves by watching it.” 

Other characters that had standout performances throughout the show are Castaño played by Paul Kim, Doña Rodriga played by Gaby Reyes, Hernanda played by Pauline Galindo and Celia played by Eurydice Saucedo.   

“The show itself is hilarious, and you will find a lot of felinity in the words, the different levels of strengths that are portrayed with the different women,” Flores said. “As well as the team behind it, there is so much involvement and a lot of history as well.” 

Adriana Dominguez, Ph.D., directed “Los Empeños de Una Casa,” and this bilingual production began the translation of the original script in 2021. With the help of the cast and backstage crew, the department was able to honor de la Cruz and bring the Hispanic culture to life. 

“Being able to experience this production showed me how open and caring the department itself is,” Flores said. “It embodied that safe space with the cast and the crew within the stage itself and showed me how involved the department is with the culture we have here at UTEP and El Paso.” 

“Los Empeños de Una Casa” will have more shows from March 1 to March 3, with different showtimes. Tickets are still on sale, and for more information, visit the UTEP Department Theatre and Dance website to see this production full of love and desire. 

Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Erik Acosta
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
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