Teatro Vista's 20th Anniversary Will Boast Two World Premieres in Chicago

News   Teatro Vista's 20th Anniversary Will Boast Two World Premieres in Chicago
Teatro Vista, the Chicago theatre company devoted to Latino voices, will present two world premieres — Jennifer Barclay's Freedom, NY and the commissioned El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho — in its 2010-11 season.

In Freedom, NY, "12-year-old Portia hasn't left her yard in a year," according to Teatro Vista's season announcement. "After a brutal shooting in Portia's school, her Grandmother, Justice Mayflower, has kept her at home. Safe in the cocoon of their lush garden, they have banished all contact with the outside world, and found everything they need in each other. But then Gabriel, a handsome, mysterious young Mexican man full of joy and the celebration of life enters their lives, carrying a coffin."

Freedom, NY will feature Teatro Vista ensemble member Cheryl Lynn Bruce in the role of Mayflower, and will be directed by Teatro Vista associate artistic director Joe Minoso. Performances will play March 23-April 17, 2011, at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 West Chicago Avenue.

The coming 20th season will open with the Pulitzer Prize finalist Quiara Alegria Hudes' 26 Miles, in the play's Midwest premiere, in a co-production by Rivendell Theater Ensemble. 26 Miles, in which "Beatriz and her estranged daughter head west on a spontaneous cross country road trip," will be staged at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, Oct. 20-Nov. 21. Rivendell Theater Ensemble artistic director Tara Mallen will direct.

The company's third 2010-2011 production is the troupe's first fully commissioned new play: El Nogalar by Teatro Vista resident playwright Tanya Saracho. Saracho is the acclaimed author of Teatro Vista’s Our Lady of the Underpass, which recently completed a second Chicago run at Berwyn’s 16th Street Theatre.

According to Teatro Vista, "Loosely based on Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, El Nogalar ('pecan orchard') is set in present-day Northern Mexico, and tells the story of an upper class Mexican family, making their return migration back to the homeland where they seem to have lost their claim to the land and culture they left behind for America a decade ago. In this update of Chekov's familiar story, Saracho has replaced the cherry orchard with a lush Nuevo Leon pecan grove, and sprinkled her text with Spanglish to help focus on the women of Los Nogales. Class, ethnicity and privilege all hold sway in this funny yet tragic story." El Nogalar will be directed by Teatro Vista resident director Cecilie Keenan. Venue, dates and casting are to be announced.


Teatro Vista's resident playwright Kristoffer Diaz has been enjoying attention lately. His The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is now running in an Off-Broadway production.

Teatro Vista seeks to "engage, entertain and surprise audiences, while shedding new light on today's most important social issues from a decidedly Latino point of view."

Eddie Torres is the artistic director. Visit teatrovista.org.

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