Death and The Maiden

Teatro Paraguas will present Death and The Maiden by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman for 9 performances beginning Thursday, October 30 at 7:30 pm.

Written in 1991, Death and The Maiden is a psychological thriller set in an unspecified Latin American country-- most likely Chile-- recovering from a brutal right-wing dictatorship. Gerardo Escobar (played by Angelo Jaramillo) is returning home from a late-night meeting with the new democratically-elected president, who has appointed him chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

His car breaks down and he is rescued by Dr. Roberto Miranda (Rod Harrison). When the two men arrive at the Escobar residence, Gerardo's wife Paulina Salas (Nicole Phelps) recognizes Roberto by his voice as the doctor who presided over her torture sessions when she was a political prisoner during the dictatorship. The next 48 hours radically alter the lives of all three, as Paulina, armed with a revolver, exacts a confession and her own brand of justice from the doctor.

The title Death and The Maiden is taken from a quartet for strings composed by Franz Schubert, which the doctor would play during the torture sessions to calm his patients.

Rick Vargas directs Teatro Paraguas' production (performed in English), which begins with a preview performance Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 pm. The play runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm for three weeks through November 16.

There will be no performance on Sunday, November 2, as Teatro Paraguas will host a Day of the Dead event with Santa Fe Danceworks.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors and students. Tickets for the special preview performance Thursday October 30 are $8. Reservations may be made by calling 424-1601 or by email at

Death and The Maiden premiered at The Royal Court Upstairs in London on July 9, 1991 with Peter James directing Juliet Stevenson, Bill Paterson, and Michael Byrne. The New York premiere took place on March 17, 1992 with Mike Nichols directing Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfus, and Gene Hackman. In 1994, Roman Polanski directed Signoury Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Stuart Wilson in a film version.

Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman (born May 6, 1942) is an Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985.

From 1970 to 1973, Dorfman served as a cultural advisor to president Salvador Allende of Chile. Dorfman was supposed to do the night shift at the La Moneda presidential palace the night before the Pinochet coup, but he had unknowingly swapped his shift with his friend Claudio Jimeno. Forced to leave Chile in 1973, after the coup by General Agosto Pinochet leading to the suicide of President Salvador Allende, he subsequently lived in Paris,Amsterdam, and Washington, D.C.