14 Aug Blackfriars Theatre Presents: Anna In The Tropics
by BWW News Desk Aug. 13, 2018 The year is 1929, and Tampa-based cigar rollers Marela and Ofelia anxiously await the arrival of their new, dashingly handsome “lectore.” Anna in the Tropics is written by Nilo Cruz and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2003. The play centers around the common Cuban tradition in which lectors are employed by cigar factories to educate and entertain the workers through the reading of novels. The arrival of a new lector is a cause for celebration, but when he begins to read aloud from Anna Karenina, he unwittingly becomes a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.
Anna in the Tropics will run at Blackfriars Theatre from September 7 – 23. Blackfriars has collaborated with the Rochester Latino Theatre Company (RLTC) in order to provide an authentic theatrical experience to a diversified audience. Co-Artistic Director of RLTC, Stephanie Paredes, says “The partnership between Blackfriars and RLTC is an opportunity for Rochester to see what happens when inclusion occurs in the theatre community. This is an incredible opportunity for patrons of all races and nationalities to gain an intimate look into the Latino experience, specifically the Cuban-American experience.”
This production is directed by Patricia Lewis Browne. “By taking us back to a time before electronic communication and media, Cruz reveals the forgotten power of listening to another’s voice. The play tells the story of a group of Cuban immigrants who came to the United States and created an industry and a home – remnants of which still exist today. Working on this play has opened up an opportunity for me to explore another culture and a story that I previously knew nothing about. Getting to know and work with a diverse group of actors from many different cultural backgrounds has been a real joy.”
Artistic & Managing Director, Danny Hoskins, is always looking for new opportunities to extend the theatre’s reach deeper into the Rochester community. Hoskins say that “one of the primary goals of Blackfriars Theatre is to expand our storytelling, ensuring inclusivity in representing a complete picture of the Rochester community. Anna in the Tropics presents audiences with a uniquely Latino voice, but through the universal lens of a family struggling with love, tradition and change. I’m very proud to be partnering with RLTC on this production.”
The Anna in the Tropics cast includes Dimitar Kominovski (Chechè); Daimarelys “Didi” Lara (Marela); Adriana Riano (Ofelia); Mary Mendez Rizzo (Conchita); Adam Rosenfeld (Santiago); J. Simmons (Juan Julián); Raul Torres (Palomo / Elíades).www.blackfriars.org