By ARNALDO J. LÓPEZ
– Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater proudly announces its partnership with The Sol Project (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director) in the inauguration of SolFest: A Latinx Theater Festival. The new mini-festival will run June 25-27 at PRTT, our Manhattan theater at 304 West 47th Street.
Rosalba Rolón, our Artistic Director and member of The Sol Project’s Honorary Board, stated, “This partnership with The Sol Project represents a new stage in our commitment to an expanding repertoire of new works by Latinx theater artists. It’s especially fitting that we inaugurate SolFest at Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, in the heart of Manhattan’s buzzing Broadway/Times Square district, and with a focus on women writers, as we labor to evolve and elevate the legacy of Miriam Colón and our very own Playwrights Unit.”
SolFest will feature new work by three Latina playwrights: the work of Paola Lázaro on Monday, June 25; the work of Guadalís Del Carmen on Tuesday, June 26; and the work of Karen Zacarías on Wednesday, June 27. All presentations will begin at 7pm, with a pre-show mixer. Writers will receive up to 15 hours of rehearsal, culminating in a public sharing of their work each evening. Unlike traditional new work festivals, which culminate in a full reading of the play, writers will choose an hour of material to share at the end of their process. Each night will include a celebration and toast to each writer.
The festival will also include a special musical performance by MICHA (Michelle J. Rodriguez), who will close out the festival on its final night after the presentation by Karen Zacarías.
“SolFest is an exciting extension of The Sol Project’s mission of amplifying and supporting Latinx voices in the American theater,” said founding member of The Sol Project and producer of SolFest, Adriana Gaviria. “We are grateful to launch this summer festival in partnership with the venerable Pregones/PRTT.”
GUADALÍS DEL CARMEN (picture top right) is currently based in NYC. Her first play, Blowout, was produced by Aguijón Theater Chicago in 2013. Tolstoy’s Daughters was a finalist in Quick Silver Theater’s Playwrights of Color Summit in June 2016, and in 2017 was one of 50 Playwrights Projects Best Unproduced Latino/a Plays and received an Honorable Mention in the Kilroys List.Tolstoy’s Daughters (now renamed Daughters of the Rebellion) won Montclair State University’s 2018-2019 New Works Initiative. Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me… was a semi-finalist in The Playwrights Realm’s 2017-2018 Writing Fellowship. Guadalís is a Co-Coordinator of the NYC Playwright Circle and running her fourth half marathon later this year.
PAOLA LÁZARO (picture bottom left) is an actress and playwright from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Theater: Our Lady of 121st Street at Signature Theatre, To The Bone at Cherry Lane Theatre – Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Playwriting: Tell Hector I Miss Him at Atlantic Theater – Nominations: Drama League Award for Best Production and Outer Critics Circle Award for John Gassner Playwriting Award. Currently the Van Lier Playwright in Residence at The Public Theater. Awarded Sundance Institute Storytelling Fellow for her play There’s Always The Hudson – 2017 Relentless Award finalist. TV/Film: Shelter (NBC), Pimp, Scenes from the Underground. BFA SUNY Purchase MFA Columbia University. Paola is a proud LAByrinth Theater Company member.
KAREN ZACARÍAS (picture top left) was recently hailed as one of the most produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into The Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of ten renown TYA musicals and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, and a founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater.
MICHA (picture bottom right) is the project of vocalist, songwriter, musical theater composer and actor MICHELLE J. RODRIGUEZ. Born in Orlando, Florida to Puerto Rican parents and raised in Kirkland, Washington and Lexington, Kentucky, Rodriguez sings and writes songs that move you and remind you of home in all its forms. With a voice that is “clear and compelling” and a sound that features “flourishes of bolero, bossa nova and even jazz” (Chicago Tribune), MICHA has captivated audiences at Joe’s Pub, the Hideout, Steppenwolf and Salonathon in Chicago with her stunning vulnerability onstage. Rodriguez starred in her original bluegrass/folk musical, East o’, West o’! at ANTFest at Ars Nova in New York City this past June, which earned her a mention in The New Yorker. MICHA will take you on a visionary journey through her musings on the power of love over fear, all with powerful femme-centered vibes. This is an exciting chance to see MICHA in an intimate duo performance of original songs and old favorites in her two native languages, Spanish and English, with acclaimed guitarist Samuel Hasting.
ABOUT OUR COMPANY: Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is a multigenerational performing ensemble, multidiscipline arts presenter, and owner/steward of arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Our mission is to champion a cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences. Pregones was founded in 1979 when a group of artists led by Rosalba Rolón set out to create new works in the style of Caribbean and Latin American colectivos or performing ensembles. Soon established as a Bronx resident company with a home season, Pregones remains in the vanguard of an arts renaissance radiating throughout and beyond The Bronx today. Spurred by stage and film icon Miriam Colón, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, aka PRTT, was founded in 1967 as one of the first bilingual theater companies in all of the United States. It is credited for nurturing the development of hundreds of Latino theater artists, legitimating creative connections throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and pioneering models for genuine community engagement. Following merger in 2014, our unified New York season plays a decisive role in empowering underrepresented artists and audiences to claim a place at the front of the American theater. Rosalba Rolón, Artistic Director. Alvan Colón Lespier and Jorge B. Merced, Associate Artistic Directors. https://pregonesprtt.org/
ABOUT OUR PARTNER: The Sol Project is a national theater initiative dedicated to producing the work of Latinx playwrights in New York City and beyond. Founded by Artistic Director, Jacob G. Padrón and driven by an artistic collective, The Sol Project works in partnership with leading theaters around the country to amplify Latinx voices and build artistic homes for artists of color. Through the writers we champion, Sol aims to create a bold, powerful, and kaleidoscopic body of work for the new American theater. The Sol Project launched in December 2016 with the world premiere of Alligator by Hilary Bettis in collaboration with New Georges, followed by the New York premieres of Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and Oedipus El Rey by Luis Alfaro(The Public Theater). The founding artistic collective is: Claudia Acosta, Elena Araoz, Adriana Gaviria, David Mendizábal, Kyoung Park, and Laurie Woolery. Brian Herrera is the Resident Scholar. Stephanie Ybarra is the Resident Dramaturg. Our partners include: Atlantic Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cara Mía Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, LAByrinth Theater Company, MCC Theater, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Playwrights Realm, The Public Theater, WP Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. Our honorary board includes: Raúl Castillo (HBO’s Looking), Junot Díaz (Pulitzer Prize-winning author), Priscilla Lopez (Tony Award-winning actress), Sandra Marquez (Steppenwolf ensemble member), Edward James Olmos (Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor), John Ortiz (co-star, Silver Linings Playbook), Tony Plana (ABC’s Ugly Betty), Chita Rivera (Presidential Medal of Freedom), Diane Rodriguez (OBIE-winning actress, member of National Arts Council) Rosalba Rolón (Artistic Director of Pregones/PRTT) and Daphne Rubin-Vega (Tony nominated-actress, original company of Rent). Lead support for The Sol Project comes from the Howard Gilman Foundation. www.solproject.org