Tacoma Arts Live announcement.
Tacoma Arts Live’s Regional Theater Program presents Anna in the Tropics, a poignant and poetic play that garnered the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for then unknown Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz. Anna will open for a preview on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., plus seven additional performances through April 10 at Tacoma’s Theater on the Square. The play, set in 1929, is a portrait combining the sultry Florida heat as fueled by Tolstoy’s tragic romance, “Anna Karenina,” sparking rich fantasies, broken dreams, passion, and adultery in this production directed by local favorite Rose Cano. Tickets start at $19 and are on sale now.
Anna in the Tropics shares the lives of a Cuban-American family working in a cigar factory in Ybor City, Florida during the Prohibition Era and how life may be upended in this fiery, sensual play. Flaring tensions between old traditions and new ways include the threat of new, mechanical cigar-rolling machine, loom over the factory workers who still labor to roll cigars by hand. Also in flux is the tradition of the “Lectore de Tabaqueres,” who reads out loud to the cigar rollers to break the tedium and pass the time. The arrival of Juan Julian, the new lector, is cause for celebration. But, when he reads “Anna Karenina” to the cigar rollers, he unwittingly becomes a catalyst of unintended emotions in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.
The Pacific Northwest professional artistic team includes:
- Sohrob Khojasteh, Cheche
- Ashley Salazar, Marela
- Myles Romo, Palomo
- Raúl Peyret, Santiago
- Antonieta Carpio, Ofelia
- Christian Zumbado, Lector
- Suz Marie, Conchita
- Rose Cano, Director
- Monique Otter-Johnson, Stage Manager
- Thomas Robinson, Assistant Stage Manager
- Kelly Lynch, Lead Costume Designer
- Amberly Dewes, Assistant Costume Designer
- Lex Marcos, Scenic Design
- Jennifer York, Properties Design
- Ryan Coleman, Sound Design
- Kevin Mikolajczak, Lighting Design
- Marianna de Fazio, Vocal Coach
- Kim Izenman, Charge Artist
- Chris Berryman, Lead Carpenter
- Maria-Tania Bandes B. Weingarden, Dramaturgy
TACOMA ARTS LIVE TEAM:
- Amanda Rae, Company Manager
- Nick Shellman, Assistant Director of Operations
- Brett Carr, Co-Producing Artistic Director
- David Fischer, Co-Producing Artistic Director
Anna in the Tropics is written by Nilo Cruz, who moved to Miami on a Freedom Flight from Cuba at the age of 10. He became the first playwright of Hispanic descent to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, yet he was virtually unknown until his play was honored as the surprise winner of 2003 and winner of the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg New Play Award. Cruz’s other plays include Exquisita Agonia, Bathing in Moonlight, Beauty of the Father, A Bicycle Country, Capricho, The Color of Desire, Dancing on Her Knees, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, Hurricane, Lorca in a Green Dress, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano and Night Train to Bolina. He has also written a musical, texts for musical orchestrations and the libretto for Bel Canto, an opera based on the eponymous Ann Patchett novel. Some of the theaters that have developed and performed Cruz’s work include the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare, Florida Stage, the Alliance Theater in Atlanta and Coconut Grove Playhouse. Cruz is part of the Playwrights Ensemble at Victory Gardens in Chicago, and has taught playwriting at Brown, NYU Gallatin School, Yale School of Drama and the University of Iowa.
Tacoma Arts Live’s Professional Regional Theater Program produces a season of great plays with a conscience, engages empathy, challenges complacency, and inspires audiences to live in thoughtful inquiry. Each play is carefully chosen with the support of the Theater Angels and Theater Cohorts group.
Tickets to ANNA IN THE TROPICS are $19, $29, and $39 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, call Tacoma Arts Live Box Office at 253.346.1721, visit in person at Tacoma Armory – 1001 S Yakima Ave., or online at www.TacomaArtsLive.org.
ANNA IN THE TROPICS is presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.