Following years of enterprising activity on stage and in the community, Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater recently merged into a single Latino arts organization with performance venues in The Bronx and Manhattan. The transformation builds upon congruence of mission, values, and programs, and sustained engagement of a growing network of diverse artists and audiences throughout and beyond New York City. Moving forward, Pregones/PRTT champions a cultural legacy of broad impact through (1) creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and (2) presentation of other artists who share our twin commitment to the arts and civic enrichment.
Pregones Theater was founded in 1979 when a group of actors led by Rosalba Rolón set out to create new theater works in the style of Caribbean and Latin American “colectivos” or performing ensembles. In the beginning, the group toured plays in Spanish to underserved communities throughout New York City, the Tri State area, and up the Eastern states to Philadelphia and Boston. Established soon after as a Bronx company, and now boasting 80 premieres in English and Spanish, 350 visiting artist presentations, and more than 500 touring credits, Pregones is widely acknowledged as a leader and innovator in the arts.
The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater was founded in 1967, following the highly successful run of the first English-language production of La carreta/The Ox Cart, the classic drama of Puerto Rican migration by René Marqués. The play starred two rising stars that went on to become legends of stage and film: Raul Julia and Miriam Colón. Seeing how live theater was beyond the reach of most working families in New York at the time, Ms. Colón also set out to take the play to the streets. Under her leadership, the PRTT soon emerged as a beacon of the bilingual theater movement in the U.S., launching countless professional careers and introducing dozens of important playwrights to the American theater.
Together, Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater continue to champion the many riches of Latino theater as a distinct tradition; nurture the development of extraordinary artists and new works; seed local neighborhoods with responsible leadership and revitalization; and galvanize generations of diverse artists and audiences.