On Thursday April 4, Social Media Editor Tal Bloom attended Nomads’ production of No Hay Revoluciones Sin Canciones, written by Izabella Lizarazo.

“What greater purpose do our songs have if not to speak for the children who will one day inherit the world we have today?”

No Hay Revoluciones Sin Canciones (There Are No Revolutions Without Songs), written by Izabella Lizarazo (BC ‘24) and directed by Krystell Susana Santiago Estrella (SEAS ‘25), debuted in the Glicker Milstein Theater on Thursday, April 4. This show displayed a collage of moments from six revolutionary artists during the Latin American revolutions of the ’60s and ’70s, and their relationships with each other as they navigate personal ideology, political violence, exile, loss, and music. In her director’s note, Director Santiago wrote that this “play is one about the humanness behind this history and the hope for a better future.” She urged the audience that we “cannot forget those who came before us and we should always have in the forefront of our minds those who are currently fighting for that brighter tomorrow. These are stories about the importance of making our voices heard and bringing our words into action.”

This play was mostly in English, with its music and some dialogue in Spanish. There were projected translations on the back wall the entire show, ensuring the play’s dialogue was made accessible for English and Spanish-speaking audiences.

Gabriela Carttar (BC ’26) opened the play as Isabel Parra, humming and getting the Peña de los Parra, a music club, ready for the night’s concert. Ángel Parra, Isabel’s brother, and Victor Jara (Juan Borge Osorio (CC ’27)) entered and joined Carttar in “La Jardinera,” a song written by their mother, Violeta Parra, as part of a beautiful sound-check performance. This song set the stage for the incredible music woven throughout the play, music directed by Roussel Acosta (CC ’25) and assistant music directed by Diego Carvajal Núñez (CC ’27). Seven musicians, including Núñez on alto & tenor saxophone, Acosta on guitar, RAM on percussion, LLC on flute, a guitarist, bassist, and cajón player, were onstage, accompanying the vocal performances throughout. These musicians played flawlessly, infusing each song with energy, rhythm, and life, as well as framing the incredible vocal performances. It was incredible for the musicians to be such a visible aspect of the stage, rather than being in a corner. At times, individual players moved downstage, interacting with the musicians.

Ángel and Isa Parra (Gabriela Carttar (BC ’26)) delivered two standout performances as they worked through their mother’s death, their relationship, and the political moment. Early on, the siblings talk through their relationship and the ways in which Isa closed herself off after their mother died. This beautiful conversation and reconciliation set the stage for further moments in the play, including when Ángel was kidnapped by military members. Carttarr’s vocals were beyond incredible; her crystal-clear belt, dynamics, and energy delivered stunning performances of “La Jardinera,” “Ni Toda la Tierra Entera,” and more. Her acting was authentic, captivating, and commanding, as she worked through the kidnapping and probable death of her brother, getting back on stage to perform, and feeling powerless. Ángel’s performance was incredible, and their performances of “Cuando Amance el Dia” and the closing “Cancion de Amor” were truly brilliant.

Juan Borge Osorio (CC ’27) was another standout performance in their portrayal of Victor Jara. At the end of the first act, Osario is kidnapped during the 1973 Chilean military coup against the Unidad Popular government, being taken to Estadio Chile alongside thousands of others. They delivered an incredible monologue as they wrote the poem “Manifesto” that served as the final song they wrote before their death. As they spoke and wrote, the projections offered historical context for the coup and mass violence and death, with images and text. This was a truly powerful moment, displaying the sheer despair and helplessness of those kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Ida Gutierrez (BC ’26) delivered an incredible performance as Mercedes Sosa, another musical artist. Their song “Todo Cambia” depicted the experience of being exiled to Spain, receiving hate mail, and longing for their home country. This song featured really clever blocking and strong ensemble performances.

José Tallaj (CC ’26) had a wonderful performance as Silvio Rodríguez, depicting the frustration of a government that he thought would bring equality and prosperity, and the tension he experienced between sticking to what he believed in and receiving hate and violence from others. This character helped portray the complexity of the political moment, as characters like Pablo Milanés, portrayed by Ymanie (CC ’26), called him out for supporting the authoritarian Castro Regime. Ymanie, last seen as Angie in Is God Is, delivered an intense and masterful performance, making her a true season highlight in the theater world. Her song, “La Vida No Vale Nada,” was technically difficult, and she pulled off an incredible alto performance. Ymanie also choreographed the play, and her choreography was expressive, clean, and intricate throughout. “Móvil’ Oil Special” had notably incredible and high-energy choreography, with incredible ensemble performances, as did the cueca/salsa/chacarera medley. Overall, the ensemble brought wonderful dancing, backing vocals, and acting, expanding the revolution beyond the main musical artists.

This show would not have existed without the brilliant, powerful, and meaningful writing from Lizarazo. The dialogue was powerful and carefully written, and yet it was interwoven with comedic lines and tender moments. By delving into each character’s life and story, the Nueva Canción movement was portrayed in its full beauty, power, and struggles.

Lizarazo and Santiago ensured that this show did not exist in a vacuum, and the audience was provided with further resources for learning and action about this and other movements. In their pre-show speech, the two uplifted the lack of shows about BIPOC experiences, ones that were “made for us.” They uplifted the Black Theater Ensemble’s work and the need for other student theater organizations to redirect funds to BTE. The physical and online programs had links to further resources and learning about Understanding Art and Revolution, including the interview clip that inspired the play.

Most powerful, however, was the poignant speech from the cast that concluded the play, contextualizing the story in present-day struggles and movements. The lights came up, and the cast spoke directly to the audience, asking us what we would take away from the play. They called for a ceasefire in Palestine, alongside an end to violence and exploitation in Sudan, Haiti, Cuba, and Congo. They directly called on the audience to consider what their art has been for, and what we will do:

“Who will you write songs for? What greater purpose do our songs have?”

No Hay Revoluciones Sin Canciones via Tal Bloom and Is Perlman