As some of you know, A Girl without Wings was inspired by a centuries-old Andean myth about a condor who falls in love with a shepherd girl. While traveling with DAT in Ecuador, playwright Jason Williamson learned about the tale through dozens of the region’s famous Tigua paintings (colorful landscapes depicting pastoral life in the Andes) in which the mystical condor is pictured carrying a girl on his back through the skies; snuggling with her in high mountain caves; or responding hurriedly to her smoke signals.
Enthralled by the many variations of the tale, Williamson added elements such as a rainstorm of shoes, colorful threads of prayer, bloody footprints, traditional Quechua music, an ornery ram, and two “mean girl” hummingbirds.
This DAT commissioned Tigua painting below by Magdalena Toaquiza–one of
Ecuador’s most well-known Tigua artists–depicts an opening scene from Williamson’s lyrical re-imagining of the tale. Here, Toaquiza beautifully captures the play’s vision–one
inspired by the stories of her own family, ancestors, and landscape, thus bringing the artistic exchange full-circle.