Mayan Indian playwrights and actresses Isabel Juarez Espinos and Petrona de la Cruz gave a lecture-demonstration in Sanders Auditorium on “Empowerment of Mayan Women.”  Founders in 1993 of La FOMMA, a theater troupe and community center in the Chiapas region of southern Mexico, the two women toured internationally, speaking about their work, which focused on the struggle of indigenous women in rural Mexico.  The troupe’s name was an acronym for la Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (the strength of the Mayan woman).

Speaking to playwright Robert Myers in The New York Times in 1997, former Vassar professor of drama Denny Partridge, who worked with the project, praised La FOMMA’s unique “women-centered perspective.”  “It’s not anti-male,” Partridge continued, ''but these women urgently need to communicate the stories of their lives, and this is a safe haven.''     New York Times