BY ROSALBA ROLÓN
I confess. I’m not a math genius. But I’m not so bad either. Yet when I sit to write about PregonesPRTT’s upcoming production of QUARTER RICAN, I’m haunted by ongoing resistance and yet curiosity about my DNA. Convinced that all humans have a fraction of someone else’s history living within us, I am grateful for GABRIEL DIEGO HERNÁNDEZ’s mathematical challenge on stage. By his own public admission, he is not a math genius either. But then, as the story evolves, we come to realize that we don’t need to be. In his case, it is obvious. And that’s the story.
But just for fun, I Googled the meaning of a quarter. Among the definitions that came up: “1 of 4 equal or nearly equal parts of an object, quantity, etc.” or “the fraction equal to 1 divided by 4,” or “a part of a whole.” My favorite: “one-fourth in real life.”
So, to avoid further confusion, I reached out to Gabriel for a quote. He sent me a long quote. I wrote back: “I need to edit it because I can only use a quarter of your quote”. He approved the following in his usually provocative, fun style:
“Twenty-five percent. One quarter. My kid has not even started learning fractions in school yet, but I’ve already written an entire show essentializing him mathematically based on his abuelo’s heritage. I kid! Sometimes I wish I could tell audiences after performances of QUARTER RICAN that in real life, one: I would never burden random people in the playground with neurotic rants about my child’s cultural identity, and two: I am in fact unbothered by how white or not white my kid is. But I did see an opportunity to get some jokes off… Come watch us play! There’s something for everyone, I promise.”
QUARTER RICAN is a multi-layered, storied-musical revelation about the ins and outs of new parenting, mixed heritage and what makes or breaks your child’s Latinx identity… all of this while watching your child bathe under the sun in a playground. Accompanied on stage by BRODERICK CLAVERY (MC Plátano) and live beatbox and sampling by ARABELLE LUKE (DJ Quenepa), this Quarter-Rican from Hoboken NJ doesn’t hold back, the result of working with his key lyrics/music collaborator RACHEL ELMER.
I am so glad we presented a great first workshop round at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater last season, and the show was picked by Miles Square Theatre, located in his hometown. The production has grown and is ready for a great Off-Broadway run!
Working closely with award-winning director JORGE B. MERCED, who has also contributed to this production as dramaturg, QUARTER RICAN will energize every seat in the house! All I can say now is… I’ll let you know the results of my DNA test once I find the courage to do it!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Have you heard of THE BUNDLE? You can receive a discount on the purchase of tickets for more than one production! Click on this Link for more information on THE BUNDLE: Pregones/PRTT Mainstage Bundle
QUARTER RICAN is playing now through May 7, 2023, at Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in the heart of Manhattan’s Theater District (304 West 47th Street, between Eigth & Ninth Avenues). Pictured above: production photos by David White Studio NYC.