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REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF PULITZER PRIZE WINNING PLAYWRIGHT NILO CRUZ’S “EXQUISITA AGONÍA” (EXQUISITE AGONY).

Photo by Matt Pilsner

“Exquisite Agony” begins previews on Friday, May 25th and premieres on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 at Repertorio Español’s historic Gramercy Arts Theater located at 138 East 27th Street in Manhattan, New York.

 The play will be directed by José Zayas. The cast includes Luz Nicolas, Germán Jaramillo, Gilberto Díaz, Pedro de León, Soraya Padrao, and Gonzalo Trigueros.

Repertorio Español announces the World Premiere in Spanish of Nilo Cruz’s “Exquisita agonía” (Exquisite Agony). This is Repertorio’s fourth premiere of a play by Nilo Cruz. The Company has proudly produced the World Premiere in Spanish of his Pulitzer Prize winning play “Anna in The Tropics” in 2004, and the World Premieres in Spanish of “Lorca in a Green Dress” in 2006 and “The Color of Desire” in 2011.

The New York Times raved about Repertorio’s production of “Anna in the Tropics” stating that “[the play] has found its natural language in Repertorio Español’s new production… It sounds and feels like a very different play in Spanish from the ‘Anna in the Tropics’ in English…its lyrical, poetic flights seem much more at home.”

PREVIEWS:

Friday, May 25, 2018 8:00 PM

Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, May 27, 2018 3:00 PM

Monday, May 28, 2018 3:00 PM

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 7:00 PM

 

OPENING NIGHT:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 7:00 PM

 

PERFORMANCES:

Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:00 PM

Saturday, June 2, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, June 3, 2018 3:00 PM

Saturday, June 9, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, June 10, 2018 3:00 PM

Friday, June 15, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, June 24, 2018 3:00 PM

Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:00 PM

Friday, July 6, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, July 15, 2018 3:00 PM

Saturday, July 21, 2018 8:00 PM

Friday, July 27, 2018 8:00 PM

Friday, August 3, 2018 8:00 PM

Sunday, August 12, 2018 3:00 PM

Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:00 PM

Saturday, August 25, 2018 8:00 PM

 

More performances to be announced through 2018 & 2019

Performed in Spanish with English Subtitles. 

ABOUT THE PLAY

Exquisite Agony is a delicate but relentless story, which explores a middle-aged woman’s obsessive quest to find fragments of love in a young man who has received the gift of life when he receives a new heart. A moving play of great warmth about the survival of a modern family who must confront the past in order to move forward.

NILO CRUZ – PLAYWRIGHT

Nilo Cruz is a Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States and Europe. His plays have been seen at McCarter Theatre, New York’s Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage, Victory Gardens, Repertorio Español, South Coast Rep., Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Victory Gardens, New York Theatre Workshop, Magic Theatre, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage and many others.  Internationally, his plays have been produced in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Japan, Russia, and in many cities throughout Spain.  In 2003 he won the Pulitzer Prize and the Steinberg Award for Drama for his play “Anna in the Tropics” and was nominated for a Tony award.  In 2009 he won The Helen Merrill and The Laura Pels Mid-Career Playwriting Award as well as the Fontanals-Cisneros USA Fellowship in literature. Cruz is a frequent collaborator with noted composer Gabriela Lena Frank.  He recently wrote a set of orchestral songs, “La Centinela y la paloma” (The Keeper and the Dove), for Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, which was conducted by Joana Carneiro.  His monologue Farhad and the Secret of Being, composed by Jim Bauer, was performed as part of the New Voices Musical Festival.  He taught playwriting at University of Iowa, Brown University, NYU Gallatin School and Yale University.

JOSÉ ZAYAS- DIRECTOR

Resident Director Zayas began working with Repertorio in 2004 when he was selected as a fellow of the Van Lier Young Directors Project. Ever since, he has directed seven productions for the company and was named Resident Director in 2013. His production of Caridad Svich’s “The House of the Spirits”, based on Isabel Allende’s novel, at Repertorio Español, won multiple ACE and HOLA awards, including best production and director. Other credits with Repertorio include “Madre, el drama padre”; “Letters to a Mother”; “Nowhere on the Border”; “No Better Friend”, “No Worse Enemy”; “In the Time of the Butterflies”; “Love in the Time of Cholera”, “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter”, “Burudanga”, “In the name of Salomé” and “Blind Spot”. Outside of Repertorio Español Zayas has participated as director and assistant for a number of productions.

This project was made possible with the support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of Repertorio’s 50th Anniversary.

 

TICKETS AND GENERAL INFORMATION >

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

In person: 138 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

(Between Lexington and Third Avenues. Subway: # 6, N or R to 28th Street)

Monday 8:00am-6pm| Tuesday – Friday 8am-8pm|Saturday 10am-8pm|Sunday 10am-7:00pm

Tickets start at $17

Discounts available for people over 60 years of age and students with valid identification.

 

ABOUT REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL

Founded in 1968 by stage director René Buch and the late producer Gilberto Zaldívar, and joined by Robert Weber Federico in 1971, who now serves as Executive Producer, REPERTORIO has presented an unparalleled body of theater that promotes and divulges the rich heritage of Hispanic theater. Spanish masters like Calderón, Lope de Vega and García Lorca, renowned playwrights from Latin America and the growing body of American writers who capture the Latino experience in the U.S.—from Portland, LA, NYC, Washington DC, Texas, Washington Heights, Denver and Chicago– are all at home in REPERTORIO’s programming. As well, the company has presented acclaimed translations of plays by Edward Albee, Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Gian Carlo Menotti and Noel Coward.

The Company presents a rotating repertory of 13 different plays, musicals and dance concerts in 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!

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REPERTORIO ANNOUNCES AN ADAPTATION OF NOBEL PRIZE WINNER GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ “EL CORONEL NO TIENE QUIEN LE ESCRIBA”

German Jaramillo and Zulema Clares
(No One Writes to the Colonel)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Adapted by Jorge Alí Triana & Verónica Triana
Directed by Jorge Alí Triana

A new play directed by the renowned Colombian Director Jorge Alí Triana, starring Germán Jaramillo and Zulema Clares. The production marks the second work of Repertorio Español’s 50th Anniversary Season. Previews begin on February 23rd and the premiere will take place on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 (full performance schedule follows.)

Performances
Friday, February 23, 2018, 11:00 AM
Friday, February 23, 2018, 8:00 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 3:00 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 8:00 PM
Sunday, February 25, 2018, 3:00 PM
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 7:00 PM

MORE DATES >

Performed in Spanish with English Subtitles.

ABOUT THE PLAY

The story covers a few months in the life of a colonel whose pension, delayed 15 years by an overwhelming bureaucracy, becomes an obsession. Reduced to penury despite his veteran status, the protagonist and his wife live in anticipation of his pay. But every Friday the only apparent contact with the outside world comes and goes with the same declaration from the postmaster, “Nothing for the colonel. No one writes to the colonel.

For tickets >

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ – PLAYWRIGHT

Born in 1928 in Aracataca, Colombia, he attended the National University of Bogotá and the University of Cartagena where he studied law. Turning to journalism in 1950, he began writing for the Colombian periodical El Espectador. He would go on to write non-fiction first in 1955 with The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor. That same year, he published his first fiction novel, Leaf Storm.  Moving to Mexico City in 1958, he wrote his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, published in 1967 – sending him on a journey that would culminate in being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987. Though his novels and short stories are numerous, some of them include: “No One Writes to the Colonel”, “Innocent Erendira”, “Autumn of the Patriarch”, “Love in the Time of Cholera”, “The General in His Labyrinth”, “Strange Pilgrims”, “Love and Other Demons”, “News of a Kidnapping” and  “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”.


 

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JORGE ALÍ TRIANA – DIRECTOR

Born in Colombia and is one of Latin America’s most successful film and theater directors. In New York and for Repertorio Español, Triana has garnered great accolades for his successful stagings of novels from Latin America’s master authors. In 2008 he directed Jorge Amado’s “Doña Flor and Her Two Husbands” for which El Diario expressed “Much was expected of this production and Triana (the director) and the cast have surpassed these expectations… they’ve given us – from beginning to end — a sensual feast and a joyful celebration for all of us to enjoy.” In 2003, Triana adapted and directed Mario Vargas Llosa’s “The Feast of the Goat” for which Bruce Weber from The New York Times stated that “the show makes eerily atmospheric pageantry…and vivid the wages of despotism, for a nation and for a man.” In 1999 Triana directed Gabriel García Márquez “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” which The Village Voice called “Hypnotizing” and “Poetic.” Previously at Repertorio he directed “The Innocent Eréndira” also by García Márquez and “And the Carnival Erupted” an original play which Howard Kissel for the New York Daily News, declared that was “staged with marvelous theatricality and skill.” Other theater credits include “Romeo and Juliet” and “Richard III” by Shakespeare; “Fuenteovejuna” by Lope de Vega and “Death of a salesman” by Arthur Miller. Triana has collaborated with Gabriel García Márquez in various film and theater projects including “Tiempo de morir” (Time to Die) and “Edipo Alcalde” (Edipus the Mayor.) He has won numerous awards including the People’s Choice Award in Tolouse, France and the Golden Ombú Award for his film “I am Bolívar.” Triana has also received numerous ACE Awards (Association of Hispanic Theatre Critics). He is the founder of Bogotá’s Popular Theatre and currently directs at Repertorio Español as well as his own production company, Dramax, where the TV series “Commando Elite” is produced for the television channel RCN.


 

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GERMÁN JARAMILLO – ACTOR

Was born in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia. He is an actor, known for “Our Lady of the Assassins”(2000), “Paraiso Travel” (2008) and “Narcos” (2015). His trajectory as an actor has won him awards including Colombia’s Actor of the Year on various occasions. He starred in the film “La virgen de los sicarios” (2000) for which he was nominated and won many international awards. Jaramillo is the co-founder of ID Studio Theater in New York, of which he is the Artistic Director. He is also the co-founder of the Teatro Libre de Bogotá (The Free Theatre of Bogotá) as well as of its School of Acting, where he worked as a resident actor, producer and director for more than 30 years and oversaw more than 40 productions. His credits with Repertorio include: “Blind Date”, “Doña Flor and her two husbands”, “Weeds Just Won’t Die”, “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter” and, “Burundanga”.


 

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ZULEMA CLARES – ACTRESS 

Born in Cuba and holds a degree in Theater Techniques and Choral Direction from Cuba’s National Arts School.  She has worked in theater, film, and television as an actress, playwright, and director.  In 1996 she co-founded “Argos Theater” of Cuba and soon after she became one of the most acclaimed actresses of Cuban stage for her work in classics like “Strindberg”, “Brecht”, “Calderon de la Barca”, among others.  She also worked as a teacher at Cuba’s National Arts School and made her debut as a theatrical director in 2001 with “Thanks Grandma”, which she also wrote and starred in.  Her film credits include the leading roles of “The Nights of Constantinople”, “Three Times Two”, (Silver Zenith First Fiction Feature Film, Montreal 2004) and “Long Distance” (2008).  She won the Best Actress Award at the 2001 Camaguey Theater Festival in Cuba and received multiples HOLA, ACE and ATI awards for her work at Repertorio Español. Zulema currently resides in New York.  Her credits with Repertorio include: “The House of Bernarda Alba”, “The Feast of the Goat”, “Life is a Dream”, “Captain Pantoja and the Special Service”, “As Five Years Pass”, “Mariela in the Desert”, “Doña Flor and her two husbands”, “Love in the Time of Cholera”, “In the Time of the Butterflies”, “Cold Air”, “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter”, “Miss 744890”, “Burundanga”, “La canción”, “In the name of Salomé”, “Blind Spot” and “Courage, Betrayal, and a Woman Scorned”.

 

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REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WINNING PLAY OF THE 2015 METLIFE ‘NUESTRAS VOCES’ NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION  “BLIND SPOT”

REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WINNING PLAY OF THE 2015 METLIFE ‘NUESTRAS VOCES’ NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION  “BLIND SPOT”
REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WINNING PLAY OF THE 2015 METLIFE ‘NUESTRAS VOCES’ NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION  “BLIND SPOT”
REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WINNING PLAY OF THE 2015 METLIFE ‘NUESTRAS VOCES’ NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION  “BLIND SPOT”
REPERTORIO ESPAÑOL PRESENTS THE WINNING PLAY OF THE 2015 METLIFE ‘NUESTRAS VOCES’ NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION  “BLIND SPOT”

Repertorio Español presents the premiere of “Blind Spot” (Punto ciego) by Gerardo Cárdenas and directed by José Zayas on Saturday, July 8th at 8PM.

In recent years, the military has tried to draw in immigrants with programs that allow enlistees to become citizens after basic training, attracting about 5,000 takers each year, according to the Defense Department. One out of every 13 sailors is foreign born, the highest proportion in any military branch, according to the Navy. The service regularly holds citizenship ceremonies aboard ships.  At the same time, the proportion of racial and ethnic minorities in the military, mirroring the nation as a whole, has surged to 40 percent — nearly twice what it was 20 years ago.

The winning play of the 2015 MetLife “Nuestras Voces” National Playwriting Competition, “Blind Spot” tells the story of Ramón García, an undocumented immigrant seeking his own version of the American Dream: the hope for a new life given by citizenship papers after serving his country, and the happiness of being able to build a better future. He never saw an unexpected turn coming from a blind spot that would transform his life, and that of his family, into a bitter awakening and the realization of being a small piece in a huge political board.

“Blind Spot” will be presented in Spanish with captions in English and Spanish at Repertorio Español’s Gramercy Arts Theatre on 138 East 27th Street in Manhattan, New York.

Starring Pedro de León (Repertorio Español debut), Zulema Clares, Alfonso Rey, Gerardo Gudiño, Sandor Juan, Hannia Guillen and Gonzalo Trigueros (Repertorio Español debut).

 

Production Web Page

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Photos by Michael Palma

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It’s Summer at Repertorio!

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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!

 

BARCELÓ CON HIELO
(BARCELÓ ON THE ROCKS)

By Marco Antonio Rodríguez
Directed by José Zayas

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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

 

 

EL CRUCE SOBRE EL NIÁGARA*
(CROSSING NIAGARA)

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

 

 

FIN DE SEMANA*
(WEEKEND)

By Julio Ramón Ribeyro
Directed by Diego Chiri

FDS

“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

 

 

ASÍ VAN LOS FANTASMAS DE MÉXICO, PRIMERA PARTE*
(SO GO THE GHOSTS OF MEXICO, PART ONE)

By Matthew Paul Olmos
Directed by Estefania Fadul

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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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Nuestras Voces: The Finalists Sound Off

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With the MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition wrapping up its 14th session of free readings, take a chance to get to know some of the talented finalists.

Anne García Romero, K.J. Dwyer, Marcelo Rodríguez, Kuros Charney, Dania Ramos, Joselo Arroyo-García, and Stephanie Weber explained in heartfelt detail what being in the competition means for them. In addition to them, Matt Barbot, Carlos Murillo, and Francisco Lupini Basagoiti are also finalists in the competition. We asked them a question, based on their experience with the competition so far, what they thing the biggest impact that the competition will have – or has had – on their work as a playwright. Their answers are as diverse as they are.

The MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition began 14 years ago thanks to the generosity of MetLife Foundation. The goal of this annual initiative is to identify and develop the work of talented playwrights and highlight the Hispanic / Latino experience in the United States. Echoing the Company’s original mission, these plays represent a cross section of nationalities and explores subjects and themes important to the Hispanic community.

The winning play will be produced at Repertorio Español.
For more information on Nuestras Voces please visit www.repertorio.org/metlife

ANNE GARCÍA ROMERO
Writer of “Provenance” – From South Bend, IN

Anne Garcia-Romero

“The biggest impact of the competition on my work as a playwright is the remarkable opportunity to collaborate with such talented New York theater artists on the reading of my play and then to invite an audience into the wonderful Repertorio Español theater to share my work.”

K.J. DWYER
Writer of “Long Division” – From New York, NY

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“The reading was immensely valuable. Having an actual cast in front of an audience, even with just a few rehearsals, allowed me to hear the piece outside of my own imagination — warts and all. Without the reading, I’m not sure I would have been able to recognize both the strengths and deficiencies of the piece. It has sparked a whole new round of creativity and with every revision the piece continues to come into sharper relief.

Playwriting is a lonely process and after sending Long Division to various theatre companies and competitions, at times I felt I was just sending my words into the ether. Just being selected as a finalist in the Nuestras Voces Competition has given me the validation that, as a playwright, I’m on to something. People read the words I set to type and actually heard them, understood them and valued them enough to stage a reading. Receiving this kind of recognition from both the MetLife Foundation and Repertorio Español is like water to a seed. It nourishes both the play and the playwright.”

MARCELO RODRÍGUEZ
Writer of “Los superheroes de abuelo” – From New York, NY

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“Well, this is my third time as a finalist and I also had the privilege of winning the competition before. To be honest, I never considered myself a playwright (I still don’t do it) but I thank Repertorio Español and MetLife for trying to prove me wrong once again.This is the perfect showcase of one’s work. Sometimes you write things and don’t know what to do with them… they probably end up in a drawer collecting dust.

Thanks to this competition, people like me have a window to expose not only our work, but also to express the way we think about certain issues concerning our Hispanic heritage. That is priceless. Bravo for Repertorio!”

KUROS CHARNEY
Writer of “Silent Exile” – From New York, NY

Kuros Charney_headshot

“Nuestras Voces has provided essential exposure for my play The Silent Exile. Though the play has had several staged readings, the road to full production is often a long one, and the support of Repertorio Español has identified The Silent Exile as a relevant piece of Latino theatre. Ultimately, however, The Silent Exile serves a broad audience of all cultures. Part family drama, part political thriller, the play explores our role as citizens and the American political process with which we all must reckon, tackling universal themes of love, ambition, and the struggle to maintain one’s ideals in an unforgiving world—a universality that is coherent with Repertorio’s mission. Only when we share each other’s concerns—across race, gender, class, etc.—will the dream of America be fully realized. Thank you, Repertorio, for working toward this dream.”

DANIA RAMOS
Writer of “Hielo” – From Bloomfield, NJ

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“Being selected as a finalist in the MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition has been enormously affirming for me as an emerging playwright. This is the first time my work has been acknowledged on the national level, and the recognition is particularly meaningful since the mission of the contest is to introduce voices that speak to the Latino experience. We are incredibly fortunate to have Repertorio Español offer such significant exposure to our vast and varied stories.”

MATT BARBOT
Writer of “El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom” – From Brooklyn, NY

Matt Barbot

Nuestras Voces has encouraged me to continue to write my point of view on the Latino experience, and given me the opportunity to share it. To paraphrase my protagonist Alex, I wanted to see El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, but since it didn’t exist yet I had to write it myself.

The classics and the canon of Hispanic theater remain as powerful as ever, but they often don’t represent the realities and struggles those like myself have lived. I grew up coming to see shows at Repertorio Español, so it was an honor to hear my play being read on the very stage that taught me so much about the heritage of Latino theater; it’s also amazing to me to know that a theater so invested in that heritage is equally committed to embracing the complexity of Latin theater’s future. What would it mean for my play – which is about Nuyoricans, comic books, and Twitter – to come to life on a stage where works by Lorca and Lope de Vega have also lived?

Nuestras Voces is creating a theater community where Latino voices are allowed to be vibrant, diverse, and modern – that’s a community I look forward to contributing to.

JOSELO ARROYO-GARCÍA
Writer of “El traje de novia” – From San Juan, PR

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“In times in which the excessive use of technological advances and social networks can contribute to individualism, it is vital that we not lose that collective identity that defines us, to live it, share it and to pass it on to our new generations. It is better to be more focused on what unites us rather than what divides us.

Having had the opportunity to write a play from my Puerto Rican reality, from my island, and that reflects the identity of Hispanics living in the USA, it is a great example of that. We are all one, our cultural identity still defines us and guide us, we cannot forget that. As long as we do not forget who we are and where we come from, we will remain a single family in the world, no matter where we live.”

STEPHANIE WEBER
Writer of “María García is Having your Baby” – From Chicago, IL

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“This competition tells a story I want to share about expectations Latinas face. I know that being half-Cuban and growing up in the Midwest gives me a unique viewpoint on what it means to be Latina. I am so grateful that Nuestras Voces allows me to share my point of view with a brand new audience.”

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The Importance of Early Work… and Where it Takes Place

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Even the prolific Spanish playwright Federico García-Lorca had to start somewhere.

Even the prolific Spanish playwright Federico García-Lorca had to start somewhere.

The craft of the playwright is a complex one that requires practice, honing and nurturing in appropriate settings and institutions. Today, the plays of Federico Garía Lorca are a prominent fixture not only on the stage of Repertorio Español, but of theaters throughout the world. Even Lorca himself, however, was not birthed into this world scribbling the first words of masterpieces like Yerma fluently onto paper. He too needed to have his young talent sharpened into the genius we know today through a mix of opportunity, trial and error. Despite his later insistence that Mariana Pineda was his first work, his play El maleficio de la mariposa was laughed off the stage of Madrid’s Teatro Eslava in the spring of 1920, seven years before. It was a profound – albeit mortifying – experience that would shape the way Lorca saw his audience and the way the audience sees Lorca. Today the debacle is little known, but one cannot deny that the unappreciative howls of the audience of the Teatro Eslava somehow, someway affected the way Lorca would later treat masterpieces like Bodas de sangre and La casa de Bernarda Alba.

The story of Lorca and El maleficio de la Mariposa highlights how the early experiences of the writer shape his or her later genius. A young and determined playwright watches his first play sink or swim, and adjusts his future work accordingly. That is why Repertorio Español’s MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition is an initiative that lies close to the heart of this theater. Thanks to the support of the MetLife Foundation, Repertorio Español annually becomes a cradle for new, young voices in the growing world of Latin0 theater – preferably a more constructive and fostering cradle than the Teatro Eslava was on those few Spring evenings in 1920.

Since it began, over 100 plays written by young, budding playwrights have had dramatic readings on Repertorio’s stage. Thirteen went on to become full productions, with a 14th to be announced early in 2014. The energetic comedy “21” continues to delight audiences after a full year and 2013’s winner “Barceló con hielo” (Barceló on the Rocks) is a fresh new work by one of the rising stars of Latino theater, Marco Antonio Rodríguez.

2013 MetLife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Competition winner Marco Antonio Rodríguez

2013 MetLife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Competition winner Marco Antonio Rodríguez

The competition began 14 years ago thanks to the generosity of the MetLife Foundation with the goal of identifying and developing the work of talented playwrights. “Nuestras Voces” translates into “our voices,” an accurate description of another goal of the competition; to support works that reflect and represent a broad spectrum of nationalities and explore subjects and themes important to the Hispanic community here in the United States. Just as a young Lorca needed to experience the growing pains of his youthful work to shape his later genius, the artistic spirit of the Hispanic-American community – especially here in New York – requires such initiatives to foster the talent of tomorrow.

Readings are open to the public, require no reservation and are free of charge. Visit www.repertorio.org/readings for a full schedule.

The reading series concludes on November 26th.

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Acerca de - Artists Stories

San Juan’s Argentine King of Satire

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Carlos Ferrari, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Theater, Playwright

Argentine Carlos Ferrari’s “Boricuafilia” makes for a distinct flavor in “La nena se casa,” premiering September 19th at Repertorio Español

Carlos Ferrari’s “La nena se casa” is more than just a cruel comedy – it’s an intricate look into the eccentricities, pretentions and anxieties of Puerto Rico’s affluent upper-middle class. The extremes to which Juan, an ardent social climber, will go to are almost as bizarre as his daughters’ names — aptly named Yanisoria, Brifimar and Auriler. Just as important as the homely character of Auriler (played by Hannia Guillén) are the problems that plague contemporary Puerto Rican society – class divisions, decadence and the degradation of the island’s ecosystem for the financial benefit of a selective few. The themes at the heart of this play are undoubtedly Puerto Rican yet widely universal. What may be of surprise, however, is that this glimpse of the tribulations of Sanjuanero cosmopolitanism is being seen through an Argentine lens.

Carlos Ferrari has repeatedly brought Puerto Rico to the stage. “En’dito, tan bueno que era” was received with great acclaim, and “Puerto Rico, Fuá” to this day remains the most successful play produced in Puerto Rico. His play “The Preposterous Case of Miss Piña Colada” was among one of Repertorio Español’s most successful, and funniest, comedies produced.

Born, raised, and educated in Argentina, Ferrari was enchanted by La Isla del Encanto when he first stepped foot on the island in the 1960s. Since then, his plays have concentrated on the trials, tribulations, confusion and chaos of life there. Through the roars of laughter that greet “La nena se casa” wherever it is staged, one can see a perfect storm of cultural syncretism – Argentine literary tradition superimposed on the rich, vibrant complexities of contemporary Puerto Rican culture.

Nelson Landrieu, Wanda Arriaga, Hannia Guillén, Sandor Juan, Repertorio Español.

(Clockwise) Nelson Landrieu, Wanda Arriaga, Hannia Guillén, Sandor Juan

Repertorio Español comfortably provides a home to this fantastic production of mixed background. Though all characters are distinctly Puerto Rican, the actors that play them are not necessarily so. Wanda Arriaga (Ramonita), and Jerry Soto (Toñito) are both Puerto Rican. The others, however, encompass a myriad of Latin backgrounds. Gredivel Vásquez (Yanisoria) hails from Venezuela, Hannia Guillén and Sandor Juan (Wilfredo Pérez Pérez) both proudly represent their Cuban heritage, the prolific Nelson Landrieu (Juan) brings Uruguayan spark to the production, and Dalia Davi (Brifimar) is a prime example of the home grown talent of the New York Latin community.

Director José Zayas, of Dominican and Puerto Rican background, remarkably directs this production and furthers the subtle multiculturalism of “La nena se casa.” Through his direction, one can again see the cross of cultures that makes not only Carlos Ferrari’s work, but all work produced in Repertorio, so unique and appealing to a universal audience. The outstanding Latin flavors that both Zayas and the ensemble bring to this hybrid of Argentine and Puerto Rican theatrical tradition will undoubtedly come together to create one of the funniest and most appealing comedies that Repertorio Español has staged.

La nena se casa will premiere at Repertorio Español on Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 7pm
SCHEDULE, TICKETS AND INFORMATION: Repertorio.org or call 1-212-225-9999  

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