TEATRO CHELSEA AND THE HUNTINGTON COLLABORATE ON NEW LATINE PLAY READING INITIATIVE
The initiative launches with a reading of Yunior García’s play Jacuzzi, directed and translated by Melinda Lopez on Wednesday, December 7
(BOSTON) – Teatro Chelsea and The Huntington announce a new Latine play reading initiative to collegially explore and celebrate the work of Latine writers with a series of play readings, conversations, and convenings in the coming year.
The two organizations will launch this initiative with a reading of Jacuzzi by Cuban playwright and activist Yunior García and translated and directed by Huntington Artist-in-Residence Melinda Lopez on Wednesday, December 7 at 7pm at The Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue, Boston). The reading will be followed by a conversation with the artists and Cuban food and drinks, and is free and open to the public; reservations are recommended (RSVP online).
“Through this new initiative that centers on the plethora of extraordinary Latine writers and their stories, our hope is to create a community of Greater Boston theatre-makers that comes together to explore, exchange, champion, and produce more Latine work for the stage,” says Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “We plan to hold 3-4 more convenings in the new year, followed by a festival of readings, where we can get to know a wider breadth of plays and playwrights and discuss these plays casually and collaboratively as a community.”
The Huntington and Teatro Chelsea have collaborated on past projects, including an online presentation in connection with Teatro Chelsea’s production of Sonia Se Fue in 2020 and works included in The Huntington’s audio play series Dream Boston, and look forward to deepening their relationship.
The work of this initiative is supported through a grant from the Barr Foundation.
Sexy and sneakily political, Yunior García’s comedy Jacuzzi juxtaposes love, friendship, and citizenship between three friends piled into one bathtub in Havana, Cuba. Suzy and Pepe have recently returned to Cuba, after living in Paris for the past few years, and decide to celebrate their homecoming by reconnecting with Pepe’s best friend (and Suzy’s ex-boyfriend), Alejandro. García’s riveting, semi-autobiographical play reveals piercing truths in its rich specificity, getting to the core of humanity the way only lifelong friends could. Melinda Lopez’s English translation is quick, witty, and full of heart.
The play premiered in Cuba in 2017 during Havana’s biggest theatre festival. Lopez’s English translation recently received a reading at Northeastern University’s Latinx Student Cultural Center in October 2022.
The cast of the reading features Teatro Chelsea Artistic Director Armando Rivera, Monica Risi, and Cristhian Mancinas-García.
Yunior García (Playwright) is a Cuban actor, playwright, and activist who is the founder of Trébol Teatro and the Facebook group Archipiélago (a Cuban activist social media). He was born in Holguín, Cuba in 1982, studied acting at the National School of Art, and also studied at the International Residence for Emerging Dramaturgs for the Total Court Theater in London. He has written scripts for television and for the cinema. Cerdo (Fictional short film made in 2018) was presented at the 40th edition of the International Latin American Film Festival. His work has been published in anthologies in Cuba, the US, Argentina, and Germany. He has developed an intense sense of cultural and civic activism for Human Rights, and he has worked to gain creative freedoms for Cuban artists. In November 2021 he was exiled to Spain by the Cuban Regime.
Melinda Lopez (Translator and Director) is the Artist-in-Residence at The Huntington, where she has helped develop and produce Dream Boston (“Rude Bridge,” “Joy,” “Wonderland”). She is a multiple award-winning playwright, including Elliot Norton Awards for Best New Play for Black Beans Project (co-created with Joel Perez), Mala, and Sonia Flew, all at The Huntington. Other plays include: Yerma (adaptation), Becoming Cuba, Back the Night, and Orchids to Octopi. Melinda also performs on stage, radio, and in film. She has enjoyed residencies with the Mellon Foundation National Playwrights Residency, Sundance, the Lark, and the New York Theatre Workshop. Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 29, 2016 “Melinda Lopez Day in the City of Boston.” Melinda received the 2019 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing her 20-year career. She teaches at Northeastern University and Boston University.
ABOUT TEATRO CHELSEA
Founded in 2020 by the Apollinaire Theatre Company, Teatro Chelsea celebrates Latin cultures, showcases and fosters local talent, builds community in Chelsea through arts engagement and collaboration, and is establishing a hub for Latino artists in the Boston metropolitan area. Teatro Chelsea creates theatre at the crossroads of languages, cultures, and histories that make up the Latin experience, and seeks to amplify and honor the voices that speak to these unique experiences. For information on how to log on and view the performances, please visit teatrochelsea.com.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Celebrating 40 years of outstanding theatre, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Managing Director Michael Maso, The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre this fall after its transformational renovation. A storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
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