CESAR RODRIGUEZ, A FORTUNATE MAN (UN HOMBRE AFORTUNATO), a full-length play by A. S. Maulucci, is the story of a man fighting to save his humanity and the soul of his country.
It’s the story of a highly successful Latin American artist, Cesar Rodriguez, who has become a dissident and a “truth-teller” determined to speak out against injustice. Detained because of his criticism of the government’s rampant corruption, Rodriguez continues his denunciation of the authorities upon his release. The play takes place in the present time on a small island off the coast of the fictitious South American country called Zacatecas, where Rodriguez owns a summer home. He is being allowed to remain there under house arrest until his trial. His wife, son, old friend and young lover join him on the day after his arrival in order to lend their support but more importantly to try to persuade him to give up what they consider his foolhardy campaign against corruption. As they await his decision, a bribed government official arrives on the island for the express purpose of granting him a chance to agree to the government’s terms for his release. Not only must he recant, but he must destroy the large public sculpture depicting an actual event, children being swallowed up by an earthquake because of the faulty construction of their school buildings. Despite his family’s appeals, Rodriguez refuses to surrender his principles. He has become a cause célèbre and is receiving international attention in the media. At home in Zacatecas City, small groups of workers and students have joined together to protest the government’s treatment of Rodriguez, and some have chained themselves to his sculpture known as “Falling Children.” An incipient revolution threatens to break out, something Rodriguez never intended, with his son acting as one of the leaders. At the end of the play, he is led off to a detention center with his fate uncertain but his spirit undaunted. The title of the play is ironic, of course. Although Cesar Rodriguez has achieved fame, wealth, and recognition, he is willing to relinquish all of that, claiming such a sacrifice will make his actions more believable and give hope to those “who live in darkness.” His true fortune, he says, is the love he has for his family and the love he has received from them in return.
7 principal characters (4 men, 3 women), 3-4 others
Run time: approximately 2 hours