Teatro Vista and Goodman Give José Rivera's Bloody Massacre a World Premiere

News   Teatro Vista and Goodman Give José Rivera's Bloody Massacre a World Premiere Two troupes are sharing resources for the world premiere of Massacre (Sing to Your Children), a darkly comic thriller by Academy Award nominee José Rivera, in Chicago.

The Teatro Vista production in association with Goodman Theatre will play March 24-April 22, at the Goodman's Owen Theatre. Opening night is April 2.

Chuck Smith will direct the play Chicago audiences first heard as a staged reading as part of Teatro Vista's Tapas Reading Series in Pilsen and then at the Goodman's 2006 New Stages Series.

After an eight-year absence from acting, Goodman resident artistic associate Henry Godinez (a co-founder of Teatro Vista) returns to the stage to reunite with the Teatro Vista ensemble.

The cast includes Teatro Vista artistic director Edward F. Torres; Teatro Vista ensemble members Sandra Delgado, Sandra Marquez, Joe Minoso and Juan Francisco Villa; and Anthony Moseley and Sona Tatoyan.

This world premiere is the culmination of Teatro Vista's 15th anniversary season. "The Goodman is thrilled to partner with Teatro Vista to present the world premiere of the important, electrifying new play," stated director Chuck Smith. "Massacre challenges the audience to discover answers to the questions it asks about violence, revenge and the demons in us all."

Teatro Vista artistic director Edward F. Torres added, "Massacre is about what we do to ourselves when we do not actively pursue our inner voice, and we succumb instead to the social and political complacency that our modern world wraps us in."

Covered in blood, seven people rush into the living room of an old New England farmhouse clutching ice picks, cleavers and pitchforks. These members of the closely knit Latino community of bucolic Granville, NH, have just murdered their fellow citizen Joe, town bully and local tyrant. They are exhilarated, having liberated the town of Joe's outrageous crimes after six years of terror. But as the excitement wears off, the seven begin to have doubts about the righteousness of their act, about each other's trustworthiness and, worst of all, about Joe: Is he really dead?

"Massacre explores the courageous and volatile connections between members of a community forced to bond together and act against terrifying oppression, and the emotional toll of such an act," according to production notes.

José Rivera is a recipient of two Obie Awards for Playwriting —for Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, both at the New York Public Theater. His screenplay for "Diarios de motocicleta" ("The Motorcycle Diaries"), directed by Walter Salles, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award, and a Writers Guild Award. The screenplay received Spain's Goya Award and Argentina's top award for screenwriting.

In 1989 Rivera studied with Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez at the Sundance Institute. His plays include Cloud Tectonics, Each Day Dies With Sleep, Sonnets for an Old Century, Sueño, Giants Have Us In Their Books, Maricela de la Luz Lights the World and Adoration of the Old Woman. Massacre (Sing to Your Children) was commissioned by LAByrinth Theater Company, where it had a staged reading in association with the New York Public Theater.

School of the Americas premiered at the Public in the summer of 2006 in a co-production with the LAByrinth Theatre Company. Upcoming work includes The Untranslatable Secrets of Orlando Corona and a screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."

Rivera will make his film directing debut with "Celestina," based on his play Cloud Tectonics in summer 2007.

Teatro Vista, Theatre with a View, was founded 16 years ago by Godinez and Torres to provide an increased number of opportunities for Latino performing artists in Chicago and to reflect the Latino experience.

The design team for Massacre includes Christine Pascual (costumes), Brian Sidney Bembridge (set), Mary Badger (lighting) and Mikhail Fiksel (sound).

For information, visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org.

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