Project Description

Diana Burbano on Manuelita Saenz

You’ve heard of Simon Bolivar, but have you heard of the bold Manuelita Saenz? Diana Burbano tells the story of this South American revolutionary, spy and soldier who fought to free her country from colonial power. An illegitimate mixed-race child raised by radical nuns, Manuelita refused to be oppressed by customs of the day, living life on her own terms. Fierce, romantic, cunning, unconstrained. A wild woman.


Director: Julie Hébert
DP: Sevdije Kastrati-Dill
2nd Camera: Johanna Coelho
Sound: Nancy Kwon
Editor: Sally O’Brien
Mix: Daniel Raphael
Color: Bill Dill
Producer: Courtney Graham

More About…



Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, an Equity actor, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists. Plays include Policarpa, Fabulous Monsters, & Caliban’s Island. Linda, (in English and in Spanish), has been seen all over the world.

Listen to an excerpt of Silueta starring Anthony Heald and Nancy Rodriguez here.



Manuelita Sáenz was a Colombian colonel who received The Order of the Sun for her service in the South American revolution. She saved Simon Bolivar’s life twice and is known as “The Liberator of the Liberator.”