Amphibian Stage Productions today announced that it would mount a new production of its 2003 hit The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World by Shaun Prendergast. This show will be the first in Amphibian's new home on South Main Street, running October 25 – November 18, 2012. Amphibian also announced that its previously scheduled fall show, Fiction, will be postponed until the 2013 season.
The return of Julia Pastrana to Amphibian's stage comes at a turning point in the story of the real Julia Pastrana, a legendary and controversial Mexican figure.
Born in 1834 in Sinaloa, Mexico, Julia suffered from a genetic condition called terminal hypertrichosis, which caused excessive hair growth all over her body. As a young woman she was sold to a touring circus and exhibited as "The Ugliest Woman in the World."
Julia married her manager and in 1860 gave birth to a son who bore the same genetic condition. He lived only 35 hours, and Julia, suffering from complications during childbirth, passed away 5 days later. Her husband, after having them embalmed, continued to exhibit Julia and her son the world over for more than 20 years. A century later, her body was transferred to the University of Oslo's Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in Norway.
Finally, this year, following a nearly 10-year campaign by Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata to restore this legendary woman to her native country, with the help of the governor of the Mexican state of Sinaloa, the Norwegian government has agreed to release Julia's remains. Her body is set to be returned to Mexico later this year, where she will receive a Catholic burial, according to the faith she practiced during life.
Amphibian Artistic Director Kathleen Culebro said of the news, "I would like to congratulate Laura Anderson Barbata and the Governor of Sinaloa on this great triumph for human rights. They are honoring her memory after years of mistreatment, and it is our intent to honor her as well by making her story known. Theatre has the power to communicate human stories like no other art form, and this brilliant script by Shaun Prendergast is a moving portrayal of a woman who fought to maintain her humanity in the face of exploitation."
Tickets for Julia Pastrana are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students. For tickets and more information, theatergoers may call 817-923-3012, email email@example.com, or visit www.amphibianproductions.org.