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The Van Lier Fellowship for Emerging Latinx/Latine Directors

NYLON Ana Zambrana
Photo by Emmanuel Abreu: NYLON, directed by Ana Luz Zambrana (Van Lier Fellow 2022-2023).

REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL, the nation’s pre-eminent Spanish language theater, proudly announces the 2024-2025 The New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowship for Latine/Latinx Directors. This Fellowship enables emerging directors the unique opportunity to mount two professional Spanish language theater productions at Repertorio Español.

The requirements for the Van Lier Fellowship include that candidates must be Hispanic/Latine, 30 years old or younger, having completed a BA or MFA in dramatic arts, and must not be currently enrolled in any university or full-time theatre training program. They must live in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Ideal fellows have some previous experience in directing, an integral knowledge of classical Spanish theatre, and contemporary Latin American theatre as well as a familiarity with Hispanic-American playwrights.

Two directors will be chosen to participate in the Van Lier Fellowship based on their production proposals and interviews. Fellows will direct two distinct works in Spanish over two summers. The first round of productions, which will take place in the summer of 2024, will be contemporary works written in Spanish or works by Latinx playwrights. Round two will be plays from the Siglo de Oro (Spain’s Golden Age) and will be presented in the summer of 2025.

DEADLINE is Monday, January 22, 2024, timestamp. Applicants must write (in English or Spanish) proposals for the 2 productions they wish to direct. For proposal guidelines, please send an e-mail expressing your interest to aav@repertorio.org with the subject line “Van Lier 2024 Application”. More information is available on the Company’s website at repertorio.nyc

A public charity, The Trust is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City and its suburbs. They bring together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to build a better community and support nonprofits that make a difference. They apply knowledge, creativity, and resources to the most challenging issues in an effort to ensure meaningful opportunities and a better quality of life for all New Yorkers, today and tomorrow.

Repertorio Español was founded in 1968 by Artistic Director René Buch and Producer Gilberto Zaldívar and has become one of the most successful Off-Broadway theatres. The Company was founded with the mission of producing the finest Spanish-language theatre from Latin America and Spain as well as plays written by Latinx artists. The Company presents a rotating repertory of 13 different plays, musicals, and dance concerts with over 300 performances every year. Its productions are seen by over 50,000 people annually at its home, the historic Gramercy Arts Theatre, and on tour. Every year, approximately 20,000 students are introduced to the heritage of Spanish language theatre through its education program, ¡DIGNIDAD!

By phone: 1-212.225.9999 | Online: repertorio.nyc

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Spanish Golden Age Van Lier

Three young directors to stage three Spanish Golden Age (17th Century) plays – LA TRAICIÓN EN LA AMISTAD, LOS EMPEÑOS DE UNA CASA, and PRIMERO SUEÑO.

Repertorio Español is proud to announce the Van Lier Spanish Golden Age productions, which will take place from June 30th to August 6th. The three Van Lier Directing Fellows – Ana Luz Zambrana, Kathleen Capdesuñer, and James Bruenger-Arreguin will each direct a Golden Age (17th century Spanish) play as part of the requisite of the 2-year Fellowship in which they must direct one contemporary play year one, and a Golden Age play in the second and final year. This season, the fellows will present “La traición en la amistad” by María de Zayas y Sotomayor, “Los empeños de una casa” and “Primero sueño” by Sor Juana Inés De La Cruz.

Spanning the 17th century, the Spanish Golden Age marked an explosion of Baroque theatre and playwriting in Spain and Mexico with Sor Juana. Today is a vibrant reminder of the centuries-old roots of Spanish language theatre. Through the Van Lier fellows’ initiative, Ms. Zambrana, Ms. Capdesuñer, and Mr. Bruenger-Arreguin have combined their allocated resources to produce and market these productions to raise the consciousness of the significant impact that this all-too-often neglected yet integral period of literary and intellectual development.

All plays are presented in Spanish with English subtitles.


La traicion

June 30th – July 9th
By María de Zayas y Sotomayor
Directed by Ana Luz Zambrana

María de Zayas y Sotomayor’s La traición en la amistad is the rare Golden Age play that turns traditional gender roles on their head. Centering on the complexities of female friendship, the story kicks off with a tale as old as time: Two friends who love the same man. This triangle quickly evolves into a tangled web of betrayals and deceit, which let us see how women can seduce and betray just as mercilessly as the typical “galán.”

Friday, June 30th, 8 pm
Saturday, July 1st, 8 pm
Sunday, July 3rd, 3 pm
Saturday July 8th, 8 pm
Sunday, July 9th, 3 pm

Los empeños
July 14th – July 23rd
By Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Directed by Kathleen Capdesuñer

Los empeños de una casa follows a group of singles as they navigate a maze of desire, temptation, and betrayal in their quest for love. Los empeños de una casa takes a modern spin on the classic 17th-century romantic farce, exploring the misadventures of love through a reality TV dating show.

Friday, July 14th, 8 pm
Saturday, July 15th, 8 pm
Sunday, July 16th, 3 pm
Saturday, July 22nd, 8 pm
Sunday, July 23rd, 3 pm

Primero sueno
July 28th – August 6th
By Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Directed by James Bruenger-Arreguin

Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz’s Primero Sueño is a profound and intricate poem that is regarded as one of her most important works and a masterpiece of the Golden Age of Spanish literature. The poem delves into the depths of the human psyche and the enigmas of the cosmos through a sequence of dreamlike visions and philosophical contemplations. Primero Sueño explores themes such as knowledge, love, and the divine while reflecting on the universe’s mechanics and the human soul’s intricacies. Van Lier fellow, James Bruenger-Arreguin has adapted the poem for the stage, creating a theatrical dream that takes the audience on a journey through the universe to explore its mysteries and complexities through puppetry, dance, and language.

Friday, July 28th, 8 pm
Saturday, July 29th, 8 pm
Sunday, July 30th, 3 pm
Saturday, August 5th, 8 pm
Sunday, August 6th, 3 pm


Ana Luz Zanabria

(Ella/She/Her) is a Puerto Rican actor, director, and critic. She received her BFA at UCF with a minor in Humanities, training as well at: Atlantic Co, BADA at Oxford University, and SBIFF. She is a SDC Directing Fellow, a Kennedy Center Directing Initiative alum, and a participant of Jose Solís’s BIPOC Critic Lab. She is currently a member of the “Did They Like It?” Cohort and a Latiné Musical Theatre Lab Associate. Growing up as a Boricua in South Dakota —with her media diet ranging from Rebelde to The Lizzie McGuire Movie— sparked her need to create stories that explore the diasporic experience of POC in our world.


Kathleen Capdesuñer
Kathleen Capdesuñer (Ella/She/Her) is a Florida grown, immigrant raised, Cuban-American director, producer and generative artist working in theatre and film. Kathleen is a fiercely generous collaborator who leads democratized modes of creation to decolonize the current artistic canon. Kathleen is an alum of: The Roundabout Directing Fellowship, The Civilians R&D Group, MTC John Alper Directing Fellowship, The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and McCarter Theatre Center Directing Apprenticeship. She’s also developed and directed work with: Roundabout, Atlantic Theatre Company, Yale, EST, Noor Theatre, Columbia, Teatro LATEA, Moxie Arts New York, McCarter Theatre, NYU, and internationally in the Fringe Festival circuit. www.kcapdesuner.com


James Bruenger-Arreguin: (Él/He/His) Born in Los Cabos, Mexico, raised in Denver, CO, James is an NYC-based Latino director and producer currently working at the Creative Development office at Disney Theatrical Group. He has worked and collaborated with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Aspen, The 24 Hour Plays, Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre (Associate Artistic Director). Recent Credits: Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center: Guadalupe in the Guest Room and To Slay The Dragon. SCRT: The Last Five Years (Director), Evita (Director/Choreographer) Fly By Night (Choreographer), University of the Arts: Pop The Musical Exhibition (Director), and Momentos (Director). BFA in Directing, Playwriting + Production from the University of the Arts. www.directordeteatro.com

The New York Community Trust is dedicated to meeting the changing needs of children, youth, and families; aid in community development; improve the environment; promote health; assist people with special needs; and support education, arts, and human justice.

By phone: 1-212.225.9999 | Online: repertorio.nyc

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It’s Summer at Repertorio!


It is officially summer in the city, which means Repertorio is in the full swing of its summer session!

The theatre is offering up a specially curated summer season. Alongside the incredible plays you can find year round like En el tiempo de las mariposas and Cita a ciegas, new plays like Barceló con hielo and the Van Lier Series display the products of young, talented Latino writers, directors and actors flexing their muscle and sharpening their artistic skills on Repertorio’s Stage. Check out just some of the amazing shows that these young Latino artists have put together!



By Marco Antonio Rodríguez
Directed by José Zayas

Javier Fano & Ivan Camilo in “Barceló con hielo” (Photo courtesy of Michael Palma) 

Repertorio’s summer hit has received rave reviews from many publications and networks, including TimeOut New York, The Huffington Post, Univision41 and many others.

The play follows the story of the miserly Nino Antonio Ortíz whose hallucinations of former Domincan president Joaquín Balaguer force him to confront the dark secrets of his family embedded in the Caribbean nation’s history. Simultaneously, he must confront the debilitating effects of both his illness and children as he deteriorates in his Washington Heights home.

A perfect mix of history, culture, comedy and tragedy, “Barceló con hielo” is a story with a universal message based on the psyche of not only Dominican immigrants, but anyone who has experienced to some degree the psychological and emotional effects of leaving home.

“Barceló con hielo” premiered at Repertorio Español on Friday, June 13th at 8pm.
SCHEDULE, TICKETS AND INFORMATION: http://www.repertorio.org/barcelo or call 1-212-225-9999




By Alonso Alegría Amézquita
Directed by Victoria Collado

Michael Palma for Repertorio Van Leer Crossing Niagra 020
Jorge Riverón & Eric Paterniani (Photo courtesy of Michael Palma) 

What happens when a famous tightrope walker is questioned on the genuineness of his act by a young scientist? They cross Niágara together, of course. El cruce sobre el Niágara is an excellent production by the young Victoria Collado that will make you laugh, gasp and marvel. Using Collado’s passion for incorporating dance and movement into her plays, El cruce sobre el Niágara is an exciting production that is guaranteed to leave you feeling good.

“El cruce sobre el Niágara” premiered at Repertorio Español on July 3rd at 7pm.
SCHEDULE, TICKETS AND INFORMATION: http://www.repertorio.org/niagara or call 1-212-225-9999




By Julio Ramón Ribeyro
Directed by Diego Chiri


“Fin de semana” is a lost treasure by one of Peru’s most prolific writers, Julio Ramón Ribeyro. Known mostly for his short stories and essays, the writer also produced beautifully written plays of which many are rarely produced. Directed by Diego Chiri, the play follows what happens when an indigenous child dies on the property of a private club. A young architect is forced to decide between protecting those of his social class or report the negligence, provoking a look at the dark side of class and race in Peru and Latin America.

“Fin de semana” will premiere at Repertorio Español on Thursday, July 24th at 7pm.
SCHEDULE, TICKETS AND INFORMATION: http://www.repertorio.org/semana or call 1-212-225-9999




By Matthew Paul Olmos
Directed by Estefania Fadul


The first part of a three-play cycle by Matthew Paul Olmos, Así van los fantasmas de México (Primera Parte), directed by Estefania Fadul, is a jarring look at the U.S/Mexico drug wars. Based on true events, a young woman volunteers to become the police chief in her village rife with violence and corruption. Using her new position to inspire pacifism and non-violence, she sparks a series of events that will affect her, her family, her enemies and her society as a whole.

“Así van los fantasmas de México (primera parte)” will premiere at Repertorio Español on Thursday, August 14th at 7pm.
SCHEDULE, TICKETS AND INFORMATION: http://www.repertorio.org/fantasmas or call 1-212-225-9999



*This production is part of the 2014-2015 Van Lier Directing Fellowship, sponsored by The New York Community Trust. For more information visit www.repertorio.org/vanlier


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Meet the New Van Lier Fellowship Directors!


Every two years, Repertorio hand in hand with The New York Community Trust has chosen three accomplished, young, Hispanic directors the opportunity to hone their craft on Repertorio’s iconic stage. Now charged with two productions over two summers – one contemporary play in 2014 and a Siglo de oro (17th century Spanish) play in 2015 – Repertorio proudly welcomes Victoria Collado, Diego Chiri and Estefania Fadul and looks forward to the great energy these talented individuals will bring!

Their plays, El cruce sobre el Niágara, Fin de semana and Así van los fantasmas de México (primera parte) will be playing all summer. So check out the newest members of the familia Repertorio and don’t forget to buy your tickets to these three great plays!

For tickets, visit www.repertorio.org/fellowship or call (212) 225 9999



Vitoria Collado by Synapse Shots

HOMETOWN: Miami, Florida
2014 PRODUCTION: El cruce sobre el Niágara by Alonso Alegría

Victoria Collado is a native of Miami, Florida of Cuban background and is a graduate of Florida International University where she received her BFA in Theatre Performance.

Both an actress and director, she is influenced by the works of Brecht, Pina Bausch and Agusto Boal and is very interested in mixing movement with naturalist plays to create an exciting energy in the theatre. Back in Miami, she directed for MicroTeatro Miami, What If Works and other theatres in the area.

She has chosen El cruce sobre el Niagara (Crossing the Niágara) as her New York Premiere, though her previous work on Los últimos días de una casa was nominated for an ACE award as well as an ATI Award win for Best Director of a Monologue.

El cruce sobre el Niágara by Alonso Alegría will be premiering at Repertorio on July 3rd. Following the story of an acrobat who is questioned by a skeptical young man, he is impelled to do what he has never done before – cross the Niagara with a man on his back.



Diego M. Chiri by Natt McFee

HOMETOWN: Lima, Perú
2014 PRODUCTION: Fin de semana by Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Diego M. Chiri is a native of Lima, Peru – a graduate of the Champagnat High School and going on to graduate from the Community College of Philadelphia and Bucknell University with Cum Laude honors and degrees in Film and Theatre.

Diego has an impressive directing history in both film and theatre, having directed Ashes (2010), The Zoo Story (2011) and the documentary Devising the American Family (2012) which was screened at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Throughout his education, he garnered various scholarships and academic accolades, including the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, the CCP Foundation Scholarship, and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

A fan of the work of Julio Ramón Ribeyro – particularly the writer’s lesser known scripts – Diego will be directing the powerful Fin de semana (Weekend) by said author, premiering July 24th. Following the death of an indigenous child on the property of a private club in 1960s Lima, the architect of the building must decide between reporting the negligence or protecting his own social class – a decision made more difficult by the clubs owner, an oligarch capable of anything when his interests are threatened.



Estefanía Fadul by Shelly Rodríguez

HOMETOWN: Hannover, New Hampshire
2014 PRODUCTION: Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte by Matthew Paul Olmos

Estefania Fadul is a Colombian born, New Hampshire raised director with her own company – Pleiades Productions – of which she is Artistic Director. Aside from that impressive feat, she has also directed and co-produced various readings, workshops and productions including Well by Lisa Kron and Persephone by Mathew Minnicino (FringeNYC). She has assisted various directors like Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (The Flea), Jo Bonney (MCC), Sheryl Kaller (Powerhouse Theatre/NYSAF), Tracy Young (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and Michael Barakiva (Upstart Creatures).

A graduate of Vassar College, she has also studied at the Prague Film School and the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.

For her first Van Lier production at Repertorio, Estefania has chosen Así van los fantasmas de México, Primera Parte (So Go the Ghosts of México, Part One) by Matthew Paul Olmos, a fascinating play exploring the effect of the current U.S/Mexican drug wars. Inspired by true events, a young woman becomes the police chief of her village when nobody else dares to. Armed with a pacifist message, she must reevaluate the worth of her fight after she sets off a chain of events.


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The Van Lier Fellowship: A Tradition of Dedication to a New Generation

michael palma for repertorio reinar despues_007
Director Andrés Zambrano, former participant in the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, will direct Federico García Lorca's "La zapatera prodigiosa" in Februrary of 2014

Director Andrés Zambrano, former participant in the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, will direct Federico García Lorca’s “La zapatera prodigiosa” in Februrary of 2014

Repertorio Español is announcing the opening the application process for one of its most prestigious initiatives, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship. thanks to the outstanding generosity of The New York Community Trust, the program is designed for emerging Hispanic and Latino directors in New York City and has proven to be an incredible opportunity to develop their craft.

Those selected will mount two professional productions over the course of two summers; a contemporary play in the summer of 2014 and a play from Spain’s “Siglo de oro” (Golden Age) in the summer of 2015.

In addition to the “MetLife Nuestras Voces” National Play Writing Competition – a competition for emerging playwrights writing about the Latino experience to have their work produced – the Van Lier Fellowship is part of a long tradition here at Repertorio dedicated to nurturing a new generation of playwrights, directors and artists. The theatrical tradition is ingrained deep in Latino culture, and assuring the rise of a new generation of talented directors is integral to the cultural development of the Hispanic-American community. The ability to successfully mount two plays – one contemporary and one centuries old – offers an unparalleled opportunity for young directors to successfully gain their footing in the world of theater and be able to comfortably adapt to the myriad of tastes, styles and cultures that together make up the diverse Latino community in New York City. More importantly, this is an opportunity to gain experience and confidence, as often times these productions are the director’s first professional theatrical production in their career.

Throughout the years, many of today’s featured and highlighted Latino directors passed through the fellowship, including the current Resident Director of Repertorio Español, José Zayas. Others have continued to direct productions at Repertorio and elsewhere, including Andrés Zambrano who will be directing Repertorio’s production of Lorca’s “La zapatera prodigiosa” in February of 2014. Other names include Jerry Ruiz, Eduardo Navas (2004) and Michael John Garces. The Van Lier directors are always a pool of young, fresh faces particularly because the application process is exclusively for those under 30. In a city as competitive as New York, such opportunities are golden, giving young artists at the morning of their career the opportunity to garner not only new skills and know-how, but also experience, reviews, and attention from the press. The relationship between director and theater is a harmonious and mutually beneficial symbiosis – young directors are given the resources they need to mount a full production at a prestigious theater while Repertorio is injected with fresh, young theatrical perspective and raw talent.

Check out just a few of the Van Lier fellows from recent years, and be sure to keep a lookout for them and their future productions.


Andrés Zambrano was born in Cuenca, Ecuador. He graduated from Bard College with a double major in Theatre and Literature. While in college, he was awarded a scholarship by the Neediest Cases of The New York Times. He has directed plays like “Coser y cantar” by Dolores Prida, “The Love of Don Perlimplín” in the new Frank O. Gehry Performing Arts Center and in 2005 he directed “Yerma” by Federico García Lorca. He has assisted Sir Jonathan Miller, Peter Schneider and Francesca Zambello. He was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship for Young Directors at Repertorio Español program for which he directed Federico García Lorca’s “El public.” “Judging by the work of Andrés Zambrano, there is strong reason to belief that this new director has a very promising future.” FERNANDO CAMPOS, EL ESPECIAL (2010)


José Zayas was recently appointed Resident Director of Repertorio Español. His credits with Repertorio Español include “Madre, el drama padre,” “Letters to a Mother,” “Nowhere on the Border,” “The House of the Spirits,” “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy,” “In the Time of the Butterflies,” “Love in the Time of Cholera,” “21,” and “Our Little Girl is Getting Married.” His production of “The House of the Spirits,” based on Isabel Allende’s novel, won multiple ACE and HOLA awards, including Best Production and Director. It had its international debut at the Mori Theatre in Santiago, Chile. He also directed it at the Denver Center where it won numerous Ovation Awards including Best Production and Direction and was selected as Best Production of the Year by the Denver Post. Zayas was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon Universities.