Past and Present Collide in Midwest Premiere of Cuban Drama Sonia Flew

News   Past and Present Collide in Midwest Premiere of Cuban Drama Sonia Flew
Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew, the play about a Cuban immigrant wrestling present and past, gets its Midwest premiere by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Previews began Nov. 30 toward a Dec. 10 opening. Performances continue to Feb. 4, 2007.

Associate artist Jessica Thebus directs a cast featuring ensemble member Alan Wilder with Sandra Delgado, Sandra Marquez, Andrew Perez, Vilma Silva and Jeff Still. The production plays the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre.

"Sonia, a Cuban immigrant raising two children with her Jewish husband in Minneapolis, is preparing for her Christmas and Hanukah celebrations," according to Steppenwolf notes. "When war intrudes on her son's life, Sonia must reconcile with her childhood memories of Operation Pedro Pan, a political maneuver that separated her and thousands of other Cuban children from their parents. This funny, warm-hearted play explores how the world shapes our families, and how families shape our lives."

"Sonia Flew is particularly relevant to the American experience. We are a nation dedicated to our on-going renewal. We look, always, to our future," stated artistic director Martha Lavey. "We valorize forgetting, in the service of the new. The story of Sonia Flew offers a suggestion: a suggestion that our future is forever indebted – is irretrievably tied – to our past."

Melinda Lopez won Elliot Norton Awards for her plays God Smells Like a Roast Pig and Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche, both for Outstanding Solo Performance, and a Boston Globe Top 10 Pick (2001) for How Do You Spell Hope?. She is the recipient of the 1999 Charlotte Woolard Award, presented by the Kennedy Center to "a promising new voice in the American theatre." The Huntington Theatre Company gave Sonia Flew its world premiere in 2004. In 2006, the play was the final offering of the now-shuttered Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida. Lucie Arnaz (herself a Cuban-American) starred.

The designers of Sonia Flew are Stephanie Nelson (set), J.R. Lederle (lights), Janice Pytel (costumes) and Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman (sound). The stage manager is Malcolm Ewen and Christine Freeburg is the assistant stage manager.

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