Cruz, Machado, Others Join Panel in Anticipation of New Latino Theatre Festival

News   Cruz, Machado, Others Join Panel in Anticipation of New Latino Theatre Festival
 
Nilo Cruz and Eduardo Machado will be among the participants in a panel entitled "Latino-American Voices" at Instituto Cervantes on Feb. 19 — an event leading up to a new Latino theatre festival, entitled TeatroStageFest, which will run April 30-May 13.
Nilo Cruz
Nilo Cruz Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Also on the panel are the writers Carmen Rivera (La Gringa), Edwin Sánchez (La Bella Familia) and Carmelita Tropicana (Milk of Amnesia and With What Ass Does the Cockroach Sit?). The journalist Patrick Pacheco moderates.

TeatroStageFest will include productions from four local theatre companies — Pregones Theater, INTAR, Teatro Circulo and Teatro IATI. For Pregones, Danny Rivera, the famed Puerto Rican singer-songwriter who has headlined at Carnegie Hall, will star in the play with music The Red Rose. The other three productions are to be announced.

The festival will also include three productions from Latin America and Spain to be announced, a series of panels and a cabaret night at Joe's Pub.

Also part of the festival is the Young Playwrights Latino Challenge Award, a partnership with Young Playwrights Inc. New York City high school students of any ethnicity are invited to submit a play — at least one main character must be Latino. The winning play will get a reading.

Susana Tubert, executive producer of TeatroStageFest, told Playbill.com, "It's about quality, number one, and diversity, number two. It's not exclusive. It's not a festival by Latinos for Latinos. It's a festival for everyone who appreciates great theatre." Another lead-up event is a panel called "Latinas at the Helm," which will be held at Instituto Cervantes on March 26. Participating are Rosalba Rolo (founder and artistic director of Pregones), Miriam Colón Valle (founder and president of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre) Shoshana Polanco (creative producer of BAiT, Buenos Aires in Translation), Claudia Norman (artistic director of the Queens Theatre in the Park's annual summer Latino Cultural Festival and executive producer of the New York festival Celebrate México Now), Veronica Caicedo (founder of Caicedo Productions) and Vivian Deangelo (executive and artistic director of Teatro IATI). Tubert will moderate.

The festival is produced by the Latino International Theater Festival of New York, a new organization that will support Latino theatre year-round. The organization's first project was its sponsorship of the work Open Door at LaMama in Dec. 2006.

Jose W. Fernandez, one of the commissioners on the new NYC Latin Media & Entertainment Commission, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed in 2003, initiated TeatroStagFest. The founding sponsor of the festival is Time Warner; lead sponsor is JP Morgan Chase.

Cruz won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Anna in the Tropics. Machado is the head of playwriting at Columbia University, the artistic director of INTAR and the author of many plays, including The Cook and Havana is Waiting.

The panels are each at 6 PM and will be held at the Instituto Cervantes, 211-215 East 49th Street. For reservations email info@teatrostagefest.org or call (212) 760-4777. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation is available.

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