"Latinas con pluma" started as a sabbatical project for HCC theater professor Patricia Sandoval. She'd spent a semester in 2015 reading Latina writers with the intent of putting on a theatrical production based on her research.
"The beauty of Latina writers has been a passion of mine since my college days," said Sandoval, a 1984 graduate of HCC who lives in Southampton, "and now I have the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their work."
HCC will present "Latinas con pluma," a celebration of Latina writers, on Friday, Feb. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. on the stage of the Leslie Phillips Theater. The show is free and open to the public.
The event, postponed from Feb. 9 because of snow, will feature dramatic readings compiled and directed by Sandoval.
"It's got drama, it's got poetry, and it's got prose," Sandoval said. "We're taking excerpts from Latina writers and putting it together into a theater piece."
There are selections from about 20 different Latina writers, Sandoval said, including Esmeralda Santiago, Dolores Prida, and Magdalena Gomez, a Springfield writer and performer who put on her own performance at HCC last fall and is expected to attend.
Their work will be read by nine HCC students and alumni, all women.
The readings will be accompanied and enhanced by live music from the percussion duo Puertominicana, featuring HCC alumna Julissa Rodriguez, and singer/guitarist Diana Alvarez.
There will also be a photo and story exhibit on display in the lobby called "Nuestra Abuelas de Holyoke" ("Our Holyoke Grandmothers"), curated by Waleska Santiago, educational director at Holyoke's Wistariahurst Museum.
"It's kind of Latino cultural event," said Sandoval, "and I want to invite the community in."
The title of the show is a play on words, Sandoval said.
"Pluma means feather, but it also means pen," she said.
"Latinas con pluma" is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served in the theater lobby following the performance.
The event is sponsored by the HCC Theater Department and by a joint grant from MassHumanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
PHOTOS: (Left, by CHRIS YURKO) HCC theater professor Patricia Sandoval, with Latina writer Magdalena Gomez, who performed her own show at HCC last fall. (Right) The percussion duo Puertominicana will perform.