Guardian angels recruit homeless for battle against God in ‘Marisol’


The play “Marisol” by José Rivera captures images of an over-looming apocalypse. Taking place in New York City, guardian angels inform the homeless of their needed engagement in a battle to save the universe from a God who has lost his mind. The play revolves around the actions of its main character, Marisol, more specifically, a young Puerto Rican woman and her personal guardian angel.
“In the way that José Rivera wrote the play, [Marisol’s guardian angel is] very human-like,” said Anjanette Hall, assistant professor and director of the production. “Rivera makes [the guardian angel] very relatable.”
The angel is described in the script as a young black woman wearing ripped jeans, sneakers, a black tee shirt along with a diamond studded jacket and crude silver wings.
For Baldwin Wallace’s production, “[the wings] are made out of tar paper and safety pins,” said Hall. Throughout the course of the show, the angel’s wings go through transformations that symbolize peace and war.
The play itself takes on the concept of “magical realism,” said Hall, “which means this world the characters are living in is, to the audience’s perspective, magical in that the moon has disappeared, angels walk the Earth, [and] the food has turned into salt. All of these apocalyptic themes are coming through, but the characters themselves accept it all as reality.”
In the process of preparing “Marisol” were the director and three assistant directors.
“We’ve really had to spend a lot of time figuring out a way to make our voices cohesive so that they aren’t confusing to the actors and so we can all be on the same page,” said senior Sha-Lemar Davis, who is one of the assistant directors for the show.
According to Davis, having two people of color on the directing team was important in a show centered around race. In this way, “everyone’s voice was heard.”
Through the process of table work, said Davis, the group was able to develop cohesive themes and the actors were also able to bring forth their interpretation of their character’s journey.
As assistant directors, “we are kind of extra pairs of eyes,” she said. “[We] offer different perspectives and [are] there for problem solving. It’s really collaborative we all contribute the same amount, and it’s cool because we get to see all of our ideas included in the final product.”
By working together, the group interpreted that “[Marisol] assimilated herself into what she believes is success and what she believes is safety,” said Davis. “And then she has this event, this experience, that kind of forces her to wake up in a way and really accept her full identity and not just the parts that are palatable for other people.”
The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in the Kleist Center for Art and Drama from April 10-13 and closes on Sunday, April 14th with a final showing at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets are sold at the box office weekdays from 12-5 p.m. For more information on this event and all other events happening Spring Semester 2019, visit