The senior theater arts major discusses the themes and community of the new play, now showing at Parker Theater
Genesis Ramos-Bravo’s dream job is to write, produce, direct, and act in her own play. Ramos-Bravo is a senior theater arts major with a concentration in tech and design. She wants to work in theater tech but loves to act. Without knowing the plot of the play before getting the part, Ramos-Bravo relates to the themes of community, family and finding your home. Despite being someone who finds it difficult to talk to others face to face, Ramos-Bravo has found community in acting. Ramos-Bravo explains how despite what most people think the word “aloha” doesn’t just mean hello and goodbye.
What’s your role in the play?
My character is Myrna. She is sort of the motherly figure of Vivian. Have you ever had a mom friend? That’s what Myrna is. In the play she spends her time in act one as a schoolteacher. She eventually leaves that job. In act two she’s more of a vehicle for some of the other characters to get their life together in Alaska and Hawaii. She helps out there. In one of the final scenes, she’s basically Santa Claus and brings everyone gifts. She just becomes a sort of beacon of light and high spirits.
Are you happy with the role that you got?
Absolutely. A thing that’s been happening most of my life is whenever I’m in a play, I’m always playing the villain, or at least I’m playing a character who’s just an asshole. Myrna is kind of a sitcom character who’s slowly learning that life is more than a sitcom. Being in that role and not having to scream at someone every few minutes is so refreshing.
So how did you get into acting?
I think I’ve always been into acting. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a sort of performative person. Even though I’m not really good in social settings. I’m not really good at talking to people face to face, doing an interview.
Yeah, you’re doing great, by the way.
Thank you. I’ve always found that one way I can circumvent all that is putting on a performance for other people. That was one of the ways I tried to connect with other people, and it worked.
If you went into acting, what would be your dream role?
I don’t really want to go and say my dream role is playing Darth Vader or something like that because those roles have been done before. They’ve been done very well by so many other actors and actresses. My end goal is making my own play and writing, producing and directing my own stuff. Acting in that sort of setting where I can build it from the ground up with help from designers and actors who do their own interpretations of my framework would be so fulfilling.
What does this play mean to you?
On the surface, it’s this wacky comedy about adults trying to find themselves, going to Alaska and Hawaii and trying to get their lives together. But what I think Aloha is really about is finding your home. During the rehearsal process, the director really wants to specify what the word “aloha” means. The real meaning of aloha and what Native Hawaiians really depicted aloha as, is a lot of things. One of them being hello and goodbye. It’s also a sort of welcoming statement: Aloha. You are home now. You are safe. You are in this community. That’s really what I think is at the core of this play. In act two, they finally get to Hawaii and Alaska. One of the characters, Derek, has this monologue about what aloha means. He touches down in Hawaii and this girl wraps a lei around his neck. She says “Aloha” and in that instance, he doesn’t think aloha means hello. He thinks it means something so much more.