Windsor councilwoman goes onstage in ‘Real Women’
Already coping with a hectic schedule as a human resources consultant and mother of three, Rosa Reynoza won a seat on the Windsor City Council a year ago, but even then she didn’t stop seeking new challenges. She decided to go onstage as an actor.
“I’m a busy person in my regular life,” she said, “but I can’t remember when I last challenged myself this much. I’m rehearsing five nights a week.”
Reynoza, who just turned 50, plays Carmen, a perpetually angry and hypercritical mother who works in a sweatshop with her two grown daughters, in “Real Women Have Curves,” opening May 12 at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa.
“This woman is nothing like me,” Reynoza said. “She’s mean, and she swears a lot, which I don’t in my private life, unless I’m watching baseball.”
The movie version of the play by Josefina Lopez, released in 2002, marked the feature film debut of America Ferrara, who played Carmen’s younger daughter.
The story follows Carmen and her daughters as they work with other Latinas in a small sewing factory in East Los Angeles, making expensive dresses too petite for any of them to wear . The script challenges stereotypes and prejudices about race and body image.
“They were looking for someone, and I kind of fit the role, so I auditioned,” Reynoza said. “There was a lack of older Latino women to pick from. And I’ve gotten called out on social media for being a large woman. In the play, we talk about how society portrays us as large women.”
The production is a new adventure for Reynoza, whose only previous theater experience was a staged reading of “Cesar Died Today” by the Raven Players in Healdsburg last January.
“I really have no experience onstage whatsoever,” Reynoza said, “but I love the idea of theaters presenting more diverse plays.”
The 6th Street Playhouse production, directed by Marie Ramirez-Downing, runs through May 26. The cast includes Alexa Jimenez, Anakarina Swanson, Reilly Milton and Bethany Regan.
“The director likes my Spanglish,” Reynoza said. “I can switch from English to Spanish and back again in one sentence.”
In addition to her post on the Windsor City Council, Reynoza works as a part-time consultant with the Santa Rosa-based business management consulting firm Leap Solutions and serves on the Sonoma County Human Rights Commission.
“This play is my way to give back a little to the community,” she said. “It’s been fun, and even a little scary. Here I am at 50, doing something I never imagined I would do. Hopefully people will see a different side of Rosa.”
You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.
Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat
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