performance | writing | direction

The Hopefulness

esperanza 023-test 2l

THE HOPEFULNESS OR LA ESPERANZA – Recipient of The Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship in Playwriting.

  • Dramatic Question Theatre reading at The Flea Theatre
  • Off Broadway Reading with Rising Circle Theatre Company at Theatre Row.
  • (Teatro Iati reading) (Danisarte Company, 4 Caminos Festival Workshop Performance).
  • Translated into Italian through Tre Roma University in Rome.

A fire. Money for souls. The streets of Sosúa. Sister sex workers Anna and Jacqueline attempt to leave behind their dark past by stowing away in a box at the bottom of a cargo ship traveling from the Dominican Republic to France. The price of passage is spelled out in desperate, clown-like games–rituals that bring to imaginary life their parents, former clients, and lovers–in a struggle for identity that parallels the immigrant struggle to conquer the ghosts of the Old World. ​​Anna, fights for the breath of life against Jaqueline’s denial, betraying her sister with role playing that illuminates buried secrets, their mother’s murder and the dangerous final encounter with a trafficker that forced Jacqueline to risk their lives.



DQT Presents… is one of the Dramatic Question Theatre’s ongoing new play development programs, wherein featured playwrights receive a live concert reading of one of their plays-in-progress. This season’s featured playwright is Raquel Almazan and her play is LA ESPERANZA (THE HOPEFULNESS).

Directed by Gineiris Garcia

Original music is composed and performed: Dilson Hernandez

Language & Cultural Consultant: Yaissa Jiménez

Date: Thursday May 9th, 2024 @ Times: 3:00 pm & 7:00pm

Date: Friday May 10th @ Time: 7:00pm

Location: THE FLEA THEATRE (20 Thomas Street, New York, NY 10007)


Anna and Jaqueline, sister sex workers in the Dominican Republic, are stowaways in the hold of a cargo ship headed for France. While trapped in a box scenes from their past desperately emerge, but when these scenes take a dark turn, the lines between the real and the imaginary blur, family secrets are revealed, and Anna and Jaqueline are hurtled toward a future that threatens to be as bleak as their past.

La Esperanaza is part of the LATIN IS AMERICAN play cycle

Cast: *Maria Isabella Rojas, Merlixse Ventura, and Susanne Pinedo.

*Appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.


Text Excerpt

ANNA – (difficulty speaking) – Aren’t you tired of it all? I am. Tired of arguing with my grunts in bars, dumps, alleys, corners, hovels, darkness, with the scum of life. Walking down those same streets in Sosua. Having those bottom feeding shrimp circle our abode for the stench of female fish flesh —I want to be illuminated with words. With words I do not know yet. Fancy words that make me strain to understand myself.

We won’t be able to read the signs in French.

JACQUELINE – Don’t worry we’ll dream in numbers, I counted the distance between me and the stars. Infinite numbers that added up faster than I could recognize them. Twenty seven steps from Mama’s bed to the kitchen. Thirty two steps from the front door to the kitchen sink where I would steal slices of mango from Mama as she cut away. Seventy eight steps between our front door and the world.

ANNA – One step from here to there. Are we almost there?

ANNA- This is the end.

JACQUELINE – This can not be the end as I never…

ANNA – Spit in the face of the Queen of England.

JACQUELINE – Stood naked beneath a waterfall.

ANNA – Ridden in a hot air balloon.

JACQUELINE – Went to the moon.

ANNA- Overtipped a waiter.

JACQUELINE- Said good bye to my mother.

ANNA – I never won at dominoes!!!

JACQUELINE- I never had my baby!!!


2 actors

1 to 4 musicians- optional