Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Philadelphia

All My Mothers Dream in Spanish
(Todas Mis Madres Sueñan)

Azuka Theatre / Teatro del Sol
Review by Rebecca Rendell

Also see Rebecca's recent reviews of The Bear and Afterplay, Head Over Heels and Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage

Keila Cordova, Taysha Marie Canales,
and Cianna Castro

Photo by Johanna Austin/
Azuka Theatre and Teatro del Sol are currently presenting the world premiere of All My Mothers Dream, by AZ Espinoza, in a mix of English and Spanish. The work is inspired by Afro-Venezuelan folk history, but what it has to say about multi-generational trauma, mother-daughter bonds, and the need to control our own destinies will speak to everyone. Grab someone you love, pick a mango, and get ready to be moved and mesmerized by this magical new work.

All My Mothers Dream in Spanish uses Spanish, English, percussion, music, and movement to tell the story of three generations of women and the powerful ancestor who guides them along a journey of empowerment and self-discovery. Under a mango tree, on the front stoop of a modest home in a small village, grandmother Maria Consuelo (Keila Cordova) is hoping to share her hard-earned wisdom with her granddaughter Camilla Marie (Cianna Castro). Camilla has joined a radical militia movement and wants practical assistance rather than sage advice. When Camilla's mother Maria Soledad (Taysha Marie Canales) shows up to bring her daughter home, all three women must grapple with truths they would rather keep secret forever.

Bright, strong-willed and resourceful, Castro gives a potent and compelling performance as young Camilla Marie. Taysha Marie Canales is steadfast and achingly sympathetic as Maria Soledad. There is strong magic in the way Canales reveals the secrets and struggles of her character over the course of the play. Keila Cordova struggles a bit with her Spanish dialogue, but there is tremendous depth and authenticity in her performance as grandmother Maria Consuelo. Anssumane Silla provides dynamic percussion that acts as the heartbeat of this powerful production.

Director José Avilés and his crew have created a space that truly transports the audience to a lush jungle village in rural Venezuela. Marie Laster's verdant, multi-level scenic design is stunning. J. Dominic Chacon's vital lighting designs effectively evoke changes in weather and shifts in tone. Co-sound designers Larry D. Fowler Jr. and Adiah D. Hicks create an immersive environment that seamlessly blends reality and something beyond. Every one of Teresa Miller's costume designs is spot on.

All My Mothers Dream in Spanish is a powerful reminder that we can never truly understand ourselves until we understand the women who have come before us and their struggles, that there is no escaping the past without understanding it and no way to truly move forward alone. This is phenomenal storytelling and some of the best new theater in Philadelphia. Don't miss it.

All My Mothers Dream in Spanish (Todas Mis Madres Sueñan) runs through March 19, 2023, at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia PA. Tickets are all Pay What You Decide after the show. For tickets and information, please call 215-563-1100 or

Keila Cordova: Maria Consuelo
Taysha Marie Canales: Maria Soledad
Cianna Castro: Camilla Marie
Anssumane Silla: Percussion

AZ Espinoza: Playwright
José Avilés: Director
Keila Cordova: Movement Director
Hunter Smith: Stage Manager
Marie Laster: Scenic Designer
J. Dominic Chacon: Lighting Designer
Teresa Miller: Costume Designer
Larry D. Fowler, Jr.: Co-Sound Designer
Adiah D. Hicks: Co-Sound Designer