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Eugenio Hernández Espinosa's María Antonia (1967) is regarded as one of the most important theatrical works to be produced during the first decade of the Cuban Revolution. Although most readings of the play tend to emphasize its investment in possession ceremonies (the use of santería rituals and symbols provoked a strong reaction from both audiences and critics), Hernández Espinosa's conflicted presentation of gender roles is what claims my attention in this article. By showing how María Antonia is unable to alter the strictures of machismo or successfully challenge hegemonic discourses of race and class, I argue that the play suggests that santería supports a social context in which female agency is seriously restricted, and may even be reduced to a utopian and self-destructive fantasy.