“Look at her! She’s so beautiful!”, said Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown space, as the space shuttle took her and fellow astronauts hundreds of miles away. Ms. Tereshkova, a Russian cosmonaut, was referring to Planet Earth. Earth was a female. It always has been.
I remember that day in 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon. I lived in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. My parents moved the television set to the front porch so we could look at the Moon and at the TV transmission at the same time. This experience set off my curiosity with space exploration, the lives of astronauts and all things orbital, although I never did much more than read about it. Alvan Colón Lespier, the creator of Pregones/PRTT’s newest musical, turned his deep curiosity into action. And a brand new musical theater piece at Pregones was born: The Desire of The Astronaut.
It has taken several years of research, readings, workshops, interviews and exchanges with experts, NASA personnel and scholars. “I was inspired by a sense of discipline, of purpose, mystified with what makes someone go through such rigorous training and then live it out in virtual isolation”, says Alvan.
The Desire of The Astronaut takes place many years from now. Its main character, Esteban Only, speaks of a time when there were countries and nations. He speaks of the birthplace of his ancestors, who were called Puerto Ricans. “Again, that was a long time ago”, says Esteban.
But where is Esteban? Is it a shuttle? Is it a cell? Is all this in his imagination? Is he even sane? What has he done? What is he writing about?
For this adventure, our Resident Composer Desmar Guevara, has written a mesmerizing score. He enriched the compositions with sounds arranged by composer and percussionist Gabo Lugo. The visualization of this world outside of our world landed beautifully in the lighting design by Lucrecia Briceño and Betsy Chester, and projections by Eamonn Farrell. Working in collaboration with ensemble member Yarani Del Valle, a simple, elegant costume selection was made. A fabulous acting and music ensemble completed the puzzle, following the steady hand of the Director and our formidable crew.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
If you are an ID NYC cardholder, please remember that we are offering free access to The Desire of The Astronaut – we have available pre-selected tickets for ID NYC cardholders who call in advance and make a reservation. If you are not an ID NYC cardholder, what are you waiting for?! Here’s a link to the information on ID NYC and how to obtain one.