Artwork by Evan Sargent
Four years ago, I found myself obsessively watching a cable reality show called STORAGE WARS. The premise was simple and compelling – a ragtag group of professional and amateur bidders competed at on-site auctions to acquire self-storage lockers whose owners had abandoned them by being delinquent in their monthly payments. Continue reading
In Cimientos 2016, we saw a mother plead for a diagnosis of madness while being evaluated after a crime of passion; we witnessed the arcane consequences of genetic modification on the human race; we saw a devilish man seek redemption in the dessert; we were welcomed into the journey of life and observed souls coping; we witnessed complaints span over decades as Chile developed and a couple found purpose; we were part of the artistic passion that when muddled with mania brings the creator to horrid circumstances; we traveled through time and tasted the bittersweet consequences of love; we met The Queen of Isla Colinas and her plight against imperialism; we went to a faraway island and accompanied tortured souls as they sought meaning under the shadows of gargoyles…
…And all of this would not have been possible without you! Thank you to the faithful audience, the arduous actors, the dedicated directors and, most of all, the relentless playwrights that made Cimientos 2016 such a successful season of play development!
We are not stopping here. Cimientos 2017 is gearing up and it promises to be a great one, folks! We look forward to seeing all of you again under our vanguardia as we continue to develop the genesis of theater.
The Cimientos Play Development Program at IATI is where playwrights meet with staff to work on plays that lean away from realism and sit comfortably on avant-garde. Selected playwrights read each other’s work and gather for weekly meetings to analyze, praise but most importantly, deliver constructive criticism. Cimientos in Spanish means “foundations” and the mission for everyone is to help the playwright find exactly that. At the time my play was chosen, it was not only the play that needed a new foundation but so did my writing process. Continue reading
Photo by Xavi Palomera
There was this little playground I used to go with my granddad when I was a kid. It was not much, actually, just an outdated slide, a sandbox for toddlers and two plain and rustic swings chained to a metal bar.
In summer time, my granddad took me there every late afternoon when the sun was beginning its daily descent behind the mountains and the heat was more bearable. I really loved my granddad. He wasn’t much of a talker, but in his silent ways made it pretty clear that he loved me as well. Don’t ask me how I know it. There are things that words cannot communicate. But they are real.
My granddad died one October morning when I was 9 years old. And maybe because I was too old already or because without him it was not the same, but I never went back to that playground.
Decades later, I find myself back there. But this time there won’t be silent anymore. Now it’s time to talk.
Los Columpios (The Swings) by Roger Simeon premiers at IATI Theater on November 7, 2015. http://www.iatitheater.org
Posted in Los Columpios, Mainstage
Tagged barcelona, catalan, columpios, eastvillage, grandad, iati theater, iatitheater, loscolumpios, newyork, rogersimeon, spain, spanish, swings, theater, theswings
El Mandatario Idiota (The Idiot Ruler) reads like a mad, discarded draft of an eventual masterpiece, pilfered from the treasure chest of the inimitable Cervantes. There’s a deluded ruler, who grows drunker with his own rich descriptions of his increasing power, a seemingly complacent butler who absorbs each new order with inspired reverence, and the ever-elusive crowd, never seen but oft-heard, whose wavering and thus unreliable intuition can “make or break” the reputation of the long-standing Mandatario. It’s all set up to bring the convictions of a carefully-crafted world crashing down. Continue reading
Image of IATI Production’s Balanza de los Instintos by Antonio César Morón.
La relación que se establece entre el poder y los seres humanos es una dinámica que he explorado en la mayor parte de mis obras dramáticas, ya sea desde una técnica que deriva hacia la comedia grotesca, ya sea desde una técnica que deriva hacia la tragedia. Incluso, a veces, ambas técnicas se entremezclan haciendo muy difícil distinguir, desde un punto de vista de división meramente formal en géneros dramáticos, cuál de ambas técnicas se están utilizando para crear la atmósfera que envuelve el desarrollo de la acción y de los personajes. Continue reading
Montera, for me, will always taste like truth. From the moment I agreed to take on the adventure of visualizing it, the idea of exposing raw minds to the female body and the intrinsic sensuality represented in the day-to-day of the oldest profession on earth appealed to me. The inspiration which drove me to create an environment where there was room for characters with such captivating similarities and differences couldn’t yield better results.
I wrote Montera based on an inspiring story by 3 amazing women whom I had the honor of meeting in Madrid. These 3 women; Dina, Pilar and Irene are like no other women out there: they have husbands, ex-husbands—in some cases—kids, grandkids, families and careers. Their job is not your average conventional job. But that being the case, they try to hold themselves with the same professionalism as a doctor, a mailman or a CEO of a company. These 3 women are sexual workers and Montera is the street where their profession began.
I started working on Las rutas de Julia de Burgos while teaching a class about poets in New York. Students reacted strongly to Burgos’s poems, which is always good news for a teacher, and they understood her personal story: her search for love, its loss, her commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico, her struggles to survive in New York in the 1940’s, her lonely death on a street corner. Reading Julia’s poetry and talking about the events of her life helped to define something I wanted the students to understand: the tensions between creative work and survival, economic and emotional survival in a tough world.
Posted in Las rutas de Julia de Burgos
Tagged Cuba, Dominican Republic, iati theater, Juan Isidro Jimenes Grullón, Julia de Burgos, Lehman College, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Memo, Oscar Montero, Puerto Rico, Sol Crespo
IATI Theater Stage
Designing Días Estupendos was from the first moment challenging and exciting. It is my first Spanish play as a Spanish scenic designer based in NYC. A big part of the research process took place in my memories. I am connected to the daily reality that is described in each single scene, summers in Spain. Continue reading