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Imagine Yourself in a Telenovela

March 24, 2020
Natalie Hulla

Destiny of Desire, presented by Leading Ladies, is a highly entertaining homage to Latin American telenovelas. Chock full of juicy story lines, passionate dialogue and memorable characters, telenovelas draw viewers and fans from all over the world. Characteristics include a female protagonist, exploration of class differences, love triangles and extramarital affairs, scandal, murder and over-the-top plot twists. Take a look at some of the most recognizable telenovela story lines, and imagine what you would do in the given circumstances.

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The cast of Destiny of Desire. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.


Rags-to-Riches

A series of unfortunate events has left your family impoverished. You work multiple jobs to help keep everyone in your house clothed and fed. One day, as you're commuting from one job to the next, you start to cross the street when a large, fancy SUV runs a red light and narrowly misses you. You're overcome with shock and you faint on the sidewalk. When you come to, you discover an incredibly handsome man (the driver of the SUV) has come to your aid. What's more, he's the richest man in town who's also a bachelor. You lock eyes, sparks fly, and you fall in love in an instant. One week later, you get married!

Plot twist: Your new in-laws don't think you're worthy of being a member of their family. Determined to ensure that you receive nothing from their wealth, they try to kill you. What do you choose: your marriage or your life?

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Eduardo Enrikez and Esperanza América in Destiny of Desire. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.


Forbidden Love

You are incredibly close with your mother. As a child, you heard all kinds of wonderful stories about your father, who died when you were a baby, and even though you never met him, you grew up idolizing him. You work at a local florist as an adult. One day, a handsome young man walks into the shop. You can’t help but flirt with him, a gesture which he kindly returns, and he asks you out on a date. Over coffee and cookies, the two of you fall madly in love. “What is it about him?” you ask yourself. Your dreams of arranging flowers for your own wedding start to seem more real. You’ve finally found the love of your life!

Plot twist: When you bring your soon-to-be betrothed to meet your mother, she stares at him in shock. “He reminds me of your father,” she says, and adds, “I never told you this, but your father is actually alive, and you’re in love with his son — your half-brother.” What do you do with this surprising reveal?

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Ruth Livier, Mark Torres and Dyana Ortelli in Destiny of Desire. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.


Discovery of a Family Secret

You’re a member of a large, wealthy family, and you have several brothers and sisters. You mostly keep to yourself, preferring the company of your own thoughts, and you can’t help but feel that something is missing. On your 18th birthday, your family throws you an extravagant birthday party at the house. The doorbell rings, you answer it, and you’re stunned. A mirror reflection seems to stare back at you — they are the twin you never knew you had! When your father sees them, he confesses to you that he had an affair 19 years ago which resulted in the birth of you and your twin. Unable to agree on custody, your father arranged for him to keep you, and for his lover to keep your twin. Despite the circumstances, you feel grateful to know why you’ve felt lost your whole life.

Plot twist: Your twin does not come in peace. Bitter about your father’s abandonment, they blackmail him for his wealth and threaten to expose his terrible secret and destroy your family if he doesn’t pay. To whom do you swear allegiance?

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Xavi Moreno and Mark Torres in Destiny of Desire. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.


Awakened From Amnesia

You wake up from what feels like an incredibly long night of sleep. When you open your eyes, you discover that you’re in a hospital room and you’ve been in a coma for the past three years. You know nothing of your former life. The doctors release you into the care of a man who introduces himself as your husband, not that you recognize him at all. He takes you home to a lavish mansion where you settle in and try to live a normal life. One day, when your husband is on a business trip, you decide to rummage through the attic to understand the life you used to lived. You stumble upon a photo of a newlywed couple at their wedding from years ago — and discover that the bride is you, but the groom is not the man who claimed to be your husband!

Plot twist: When you confront the man who claims to be your husband, he divulges that he’s actually your brother-in-law who’s been in love with you for over a decade. Also, he killed your real husband so that he can take over the family corporation and claim you as his wife. What do you do next?

To learn more about the Playhouse's production of Destiny of Desire, presented by Leading Ladies, visit our production detail page.

Photo at top of Elia Saldana in Destiny of Desire. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.