The Las Vegas Literary Salon (LVLS) announces the appearance of Deborah Blanche as Nina Otero-Warren in a Chautauqua program, Aug. 22, 4 p.m., via Zoom. This presentation is free, but registration is required. To register, sign up below to receive the Zoom link.
“Perhaps La Nina, Adelina Otero-Warren, is best remembered for her influential role in securing the passage of the women’s suffrage amendment by the New Mexico legislature,” says Blanche, a veteran Chautauquan who researched and wrote the narrative in addition to portraying Otero-Warren. The first Latina to run for the United States Congress, La Nina will soon be featured on a US coin in the American Women Quarters Program beginning in 2022.
Born in 1881 into two of the most influential and prosperous families of the Rio Abajo – the Baca-Lunas and the Chavez-Oteros, La Nina was educated in both Spanish and English receiving secondary and college training in St. Louis. Throughout her life she was an active figure in the politics, social work, education, and the society of New Mexico’s capitol city. Her literary accomplishments, captured in her book, Old Spain in Our Southwest, focus on family memories as well as ranch and hacienda life in early New Mexico Territory.
La Nina artfully lived a life of self-determination while walking the well-defined lines of her class and society. Her professional work and causes included bilingual and literacy education for the rural residents of Northern New Mexico, improved health and education for Pueblo peoples, and preservation of the arts, stories, and customs of her Hispanic heritage. “Brilliant, gracious and tough,” Blanche concludes. “She’s a real challenge to portray.”
The Chautauqua program format is one in which an historical person’s life is researched thoroughly; then presented to the public as a dramatization by the scholar/performer in costume and often with props. Blanche’s presentations tend to be like short plays with spaces allowed for the audience to interact informally in a question and answer dialogue. “It’s like a trip back in time for all of us,” she says.
Deborah Blanche has been creating one-woman shows as well as storytelling and Chautauqua programs since the mid-1970’s after studying original theatre in England. In addition, she has toured throughout the United States. In 1988 she received the YWCA’s Woman on the Move award for her contribution to the arts in New Mexico. She lives near Las Vegas, New Mexico, and her entire repertoire can be seen at www.palomitaproductions.org.
Register to receive Zoom link for La Nina, Adelina Otero-Warren