Our Town Re-Imagined as Modern-Day Miami in Multi-Language Production

Regional News   Our Town Re-Imagined as Modern-Day Miami in Multi-Language Production
 
Playwrights Nilo Cruz and Jeff Augustin translated portions of Thornton Wilder’s poetic classic to capture a changing America.
Keith Randolph Smith as the Stage Manager in <i>Our Town</i>
Keith Randolph Smith as the Stage Manager in Our Town

Our Town, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning portrait of small-town American life, is taking on a new cultural perspective in Miami, Florida.

A scene from <i>Our Town</i>
A scene from Our Town

Miami New Drama, the non-profit theatre company launched in 2016 by Tony Award-nominated playwright Moisés Kaufman and Venezuelan-born director-playwright Michael Hausmann, was authorized by the Thornton Wilder Estate to re-imagine the New Hampshire town of Grover’s Corners as an immigrant-filled, 21st century Miami.

Emily Webb and George Gibbs, whose lives are traced over the course of Wilder’s poetic play, are now Latino and Haitian-American characters in Hausmann’s vision. Sections of Wilder’s original dialogue have been translated into Spanish and Creole by Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz and Haitian-American playwright Jeff Augustin—both of whom hail from Miami.

The guiding vision behind this new look at Our Town, the creative team says, was to examine and challenge the American desire for nostalgia with the progressive founding principals that continue to shape our culture today.

This marks the first time a multi-language production of the 1938 classic has been authorized and endorsed by the Wilder Estate.

Hausmann, who serves as the theatre’s artistic director, also directs Our Town, which premiered October 26. Miami critics have praised the production, which is in its final week of performances through November 19.

The cast includes Keith Randolph Smith (Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Broadway’s Fences and Jitney) as the Stage Manager, Venezuelan television and film star Carlota Sosa as Mrs. Webb, Venezuelan film actor Luigi Sciamanna as Mr. Webb, Thallis Santesteban as Emily Webb, and Martin K. Lewis as George Gibbs. The cast is completed by Jeni Hacker, Steve Gladstone, Robert Strain, Chantal Jean-Pierre, and Gabriel Bonilla.

Performances take place at the Colony Theatre, located at 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami. For tickets visit colony.org.

View photos of the production below:

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