The Therapist

Translated from La Terapeuta by Gabriela Yepes

Length: 50 minutes

Genre: Drama, One-woman show

Synopsis

How do you look the enemy in the eye?

A human rights lawyer, accustomed to solving unwanted cases, receives an unusual proposal: to organize a yoga workshop for the leaders of Peru’s most notorious terrorist groups: The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru). The men are serving life sentences in a maximum-security prison since their arrest in early 90s. Abimael Guzmán, Shining Path’s leader, is one of them.

All prisoners have the right to rehabilitation. But how do you teach wellness skills to the perpetrators of the bloodiest civil conflict in contemporary Peruvian history? Can those responsible for such suffering be changed? To address these questions, the therapist confronts a group of now aged, fragile looking men, who remain invisible on stage. The shear act of standing there, with the audience as witness, strengthens her resolve to confront her own family history. The Therapist is above all a settling of accounts with past demons. The play takes us back in time through our protagonist’s early years, marked by abandonment, and solitude. A time when violence stalked the country, as well as home.

Credit: Patricio Soto-Aguilar

Production History

The original Spanish (Peru) version premiered on August 30, 2019 at the Teatro de la Alianza Francesa de Miraflores in Lima, Perú. It was produced by Sala de Parto/Teatro La Plaza.

The English (American) translation had a staged reading during Out of the Wings Festival 2021 at Omnibus Theatre, London, UK.

The company from left to right: Jennifer Lim, Sonia Mihanovich, Alejandra Guerra, Jimena Larraguivel, Lanna Joffrey, and Costanza Ruff. Directed by Mary Ann Vargas (not pictured).

Publications

The original Spanish (Peru) script is forthcoming from la Escuela Nacional de Arte Dramático del Perú in the collection “Memoria(s), su devenir en la escena teatral” by Asociación Cultural Yuyachkani, Vallejo Sameshima, Miguel Angel
Bazalar Gonzales, Jorge Antonio [et al.]

Awards

Premio Luces 2019 Best Peruvian Play: “La Terapeuta” de Gabriela Yepes (Teatro de la Alianza Francesa)

“a journey through the most intense and real corners of existence. It summons us to be immersed in emotions from which the speed and intensity of today’s life rather seem to protect us, but which, by distancing ourselves from ourselves, leaves us devoid of tools to deal with pain. A pain that is not only an undeniable part of our life, but precisely what makes us human.”

Paula Escribens,
«Algunas ideas luego de ver La Terapeuta»
. Blog de la Sociedad Peruana de Psicoanálisis. 8 de octubre, 2019.