Into the Fire at Burning Coal Theatre

The Burning Coal Theatre Company podcast series, hosted by Artistic Director Jerome Davis

Episode 78: Dr. Brenda Werth

June 16th, 2021

On this episode of Into the Fire, Jerome Davis and special guest Dr. Brenda Werth discuss Burning Coal’s upcoming musical Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Werth, a professor of Latin American icons and myths at American University, explains how real people of the past can often develop their own mythologies through artistic depictions. The conversation centers around the lives of Eva Perón and Che Guevara and the ways in which their real lives differ from their “afterlives”—the way that their legacies continue into modern society.  

00:00-00:50 Introduction 

00:50-01:20 Introduction of Special Guest 

01:20-03:38 Dr. Werth describes her work and interests 

03:38-04:29 Discrepancies between real world and fiction in Evita 

04:29-07:33 Ethical responsibility of artists in depicting real world events 

07:33-10:11 Che Guevara’s presence in Evita 

10:11-11:40 Burning Coal’s approach to the Che Guevara character 

11:40-14:38 Evolution and politicization of Che Guevara 

14:38-17:57 What do the play and film get wrong? 

17:57-21:22 The upbringing of Eva Perón and the opposition of the upper class 

21:22-22:25 Influence of Eva Perón on Juan Perón’s policies 

22:25-24:52 Where did Eva Perón’s confidence come from? 

24:45-28:26 World political context of Eva Peron’s life and widespread fear of communism 

28:26-31:10 Current representation of Latin stories in the theatre  

31:10-32:41 Breaking down economic barriers to include new voices  

32:41-34:00 Final thoughts and discussion of venue  

34:00-34:59 Conclusion 

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