I recently had the opportunity to ask Luis Roberto Herrera about his new solo show, As I Eat the World. His show tells of his experience with eating disorders and body image issues, a topic that is often not addressed when it comes to men.
What made you decide to bring this play to audiences?
I was inspired by my friend Franky Gonzalez and his solo show, Heart Stop - a show where he confronts his own struggles with mental health and weight, and reading that show gave me the courage to tell my own. I knew this was a story that hadn’t been told, and that many many people need to hear because it is not something that can remain invisible anymore.
Have you had any backlash for telling your story? Did you consider this before deciding to put the play out?
I have had no backlash, only positive responses, people telling me how they never heard their experience or one similar presented out loud - and that tells me I’m doing something right.
What are you hoping audiences take away from your play?
I hope audiences walk away feeling seen. We all have a relationship with food, body image, family, and it affects us in different ways. I want people to know they aren’t alone while hopefully opening the eyes of those that had no idea.
Will you continue developing this play further?
This play started as a 40 minute Fringe Festival show, and then with this run at The TANK, I knew I had to make it a full play. My hope is to take this to bigger stages, more stages, and anything else beyond.
Are you working on new projects?
I am working on a few new projects, currently in rewrites for a play I had written in a workshop program last year with DQT, and starting work on a hopeful immersive piece that explores Colombia and vallenato music - while also writing a new fringe show that will premiere in April.
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I commend you for bringing this topic to audiences.
As I Eat the World plays until Decemeber 17th at The Tank.
"As I Eat the World"
Written and Performed by Luis Roberto Herrera
Directed by Scout Davis
November 30- December 17th
The Tank (312 W 36TH ST, NYC)
Yani Perez, M.F.A, is a poet, playwright, translator, and educator. Her plays have been presented in various theaters in the United States such as La Mama and Yale University as well as internationally in Bogotá, Colombia. She works at IATI Theater, one of the oldest Latinx theaters in NYC. She is currently working on translations of Latinx artists in hopes of introducing them to English-speaking audiences.