Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 7:00pm

Developmental Reading of Latinx Musical Play

Pregones/PRTT’s acting and music ensemble’s fresh take on the Bronx fires.

TORCHED! speaks to the now legendary era of the Bronx fires during the 1970s. Written and directed by Pregones/PRTT Artistic Director, Rosalba Rolón, with original music by Pregones/PRTT Musical Director, Desmar Guevara, this new work-in-progress foregrounds human stories often swept under the rug. The piece collects moments in the experience of those who lived through and survived the fires, those who are remembered as champions or adversaries of the people, and those who engaged in and later shrugged responsibility for the “arson for hire” racket. Alternating between 1970s and present day New York, between historic fact and poetic fiction, TORCHED! lifts the voices of victims, residents, workers, and firefighters who bravely disputed —and continue to dispute— the fabrications and accusations of the actual perpetrators and accomplices in the ruination of an entire community.

Nuevo acercamiento a los fuegos del Bronx por el colectivo músico-actoral de Pregones/PRTT.

TORCHED! habla de la ahora legendaria era de los incendios del Bronx durante la década de 1970. Escrito y dirigido por la directora artística de Pregones / PRTT, Rosalba Rolón, con música original del director musical de Pregones / PRTT, Desmar Guevara, este nuevo trabajo en progreso pone en primer plano las historias humanas que a menudo se esconden bajo la alfombra. La pieza recoge momentos de la experiencia de quienes vivieron y sobrevivieron los incendios, de quienes recordamos como los campeones o adversarios del pueblo, y de quienes estuvieron involucrados y luego se hicieron de la vist larga. Alternando entre el Nueva York de los ’70 y el Nueva York de hoy, entre hechos históricos y ficción poética, TORCHED! levanta las voces de víctimas, residentes, trabajadores y bomberos que valientemente disputaron —y continúan disputando— las fabricaciones y acusaciones de los verdaderos perpetradores y cómplices en la ruina de toda una comunidad.

7:00pm Reading followed by Live Chat with Cast and Creatives

Additional Credits | Créditos Adicionales

Actors | Actores: Christin Eve Cato, Caridad De La Luz, José Joaquín García, Omar Pérez, Nyseli Vega. Musicians | Músicos: Desmar Guevara, Álvaro Benavides, Anthony Carrillo, Camilo Molina.

Production Manager | Directora de producción: Jessica Moya. Sound Engineer | Ingeniero de sonido: Milton Ruiz. Film Crew | Equipo de filmación: Dominican Productions.

Ways To Watch Online:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, starting 7:00pm

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More About The Artists – Click To Open

CHRISTIN EVE CATO (role: LINDA) is a NYC based playwright and performer. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Indiana University. Cato is affiliated with NYC theater companies, Pregones/PRTT, INTAR Theatre, and Hip-Hop Theatre Company, Rhymes Over Beats. With a Puerto Rican and Jamaican heritage, Cato’s artistic style is heavily influenced by Caribbean culture and the Afrolatinx diaspora. With PregonesPRTT she has performed in Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, We Have Iré, and Torched!. Plays include: Stoop Pigeons (2020 O’Neill NPC Semi-Finalist); What’s Up With Marjorie? (Teatro Vivo); From Hunts Point To Whitlock (Pregones Theater/Harlem9); Smacked-Up Love (Indiana University); Just A Visit (“More Than Maria” Festival @ Play Your Part Seattle).

CARIDAD DE LA LUZ (role: GINA) is a multifaceted performer known as La Bruja. She raps, acts, sings, hosts, dances, writes and teaches others how to do the same. Winner of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship 2020-2021, she has been one of America’s leading spoken word poets for over 15 years and has received the Puerto Rican Women Legacy Award, The Edgar Allan Poe Award from The Bronx Historical Society and was honored as A Bronx Living Legend by The Bronx Music Heritage Center.  She was presented with a Citation of Merit from The Bronx Borough President and named “Top 20 Puerto Rican Women Everyone Should Know”. Her Hip Hop albums can be found on Spotify and iTunes under the titles: Brujalicious and For Witch It Stands.

JOSÉ JOAQUÍN GARCÍA (role: TITO) has graced the stage with PregonesPRTT since 1986 as an actor/singer performing original musical theater works. He appeared with Marc Anthony and Ednita Nazario on Broadway in Paul Simon’s The Capeman. A versatile singer, José transitions seamlessly from rock, roll, rhythm & blues to a wide array of Latin styles to European works he has classically trained to sing. He performed Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe “A Poet’s Love” song cycle with San Francisco’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. He has performed with the Lehman College Orchestra and the Boricua College Chorus as a tenor soloist in works by Mozart, Handel and Mendelssohn. He and his group Rubí Theatre Company have frequently collaborated with Dan Zanes, most notably on Catch That Train, which won the 2006 Grammy for Musical Album for Children, and 2008’s ¡Nueva York!, which won the Independent Music Award for Best Children’s Music Album. José will also be heard on an upcoming Leadbelly tribute album on Smithsonian records. He is currently the co-founder and Lead Vocalist of Rubí, Brooklyn’s premier rock & roll neoyorquino band.

OMAR PÉREZ (role: BURT) is a New York City based director, actor and educator, Omar’s focus is the development of new works. His projects and acting credits include The Names, In 5 Beats; a collaboration between LaMama and Pregones Theatre that showcased beatboxers and actors led by Omar and renown, late Beatrhymer Kid Lucky. Manchild Machismo, (Off Broadway, HOLA award for Best Direction),  3 Is Enough, an international collaborative project between theaters representing The Bronx, Belgium, South Africa, and Peru, Name and Blame Inc. by Ricardo Perez-Gonzalez, and Breath to Breath, a musical by Michael Wells-Oakes. His acting credits as Ensemble member with PregonesPRTT include : The Red Rose starring Grammy winner Danny Rivera, The Beep, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers (Off-Broadwa) among manyothers. Other stage credits include DC7 The Roberto Clemente Story(Off Broadway), The Wizard of Oz, and Man of La Mancha. His one-man show Rhapsodia, has been presented at several NYC festivals. Recent T.V. credits include Power, Ray Donovan (Starz network)  Russian Dolls (Netflix) and Search Party (TBS).

NYSELI VEGA (Stage Directions Reader) Nyseli Vega is a multifaceted Dominican-American performer, producer and activist.  She is a co-founder/performer of the powerhouse singing trio Ménage Music, as well as a member of Face Off Unlimited Improv family.  Pre-covid- she performed weekly in Batsu (a Japanese style, punishment based improv show), as well as co-producing the podcast “Operation DadPod.”  Some recent credits include High Maintenance, OITNB, One Day the Musical (Off Broadway) and Carmen La Cubana (Paris).

ANTHONY CARRILLO (Percussion) Master percussionist who has carved a career playing with  piano legend Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paul Simon and Harry Belafonte and numerous others. ele and, in contrast, the Puerto Rican metal band, PUYA. Anthony  has released 3 CD’s featuring the historic first ever recordings of rumba from Puerto Rico. More recent performances include the off broadway musical “I Like it Like That” ,2017, recording with Puerto Rican artist Residente on his recent track “Hijos del Cañaveral”. Anthony has played in numerous PregonesPRTT productions, including Harlem Hellfigthers On A Latin Beat, The Red Rose and Torched!, now in development.

ÁLVARO BENAVIDES (Bass) is a Venezuelan born bassist residing in New York City where he performs with renowned bands. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In NYC he has performed with multiple bands and in musical theater, including Pregones’ Dancing In My Cockroach Killers in Washington DC and Off-Broadway at PRTT and in Torched! now in development. With Pedrito Martinez’s Group he recorded two studio albums and a Grammy nominated live album (2015). Álvaro has toured globally, performing in festivals in New Orleans, Newport & Montreal, among others. He has performed alongside music notables Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Rubén Blades, Issac Delgado & many more. Álvaro is well known for his work as soloist and for his contributions to ensemble timing in multiple genres.

CAMILO MOLINA (Drums) is an accomplished NYC percussionist, having grown among some of the most prominent music ensembles like Los Pleneros de la 21 and spending his childhood years advancing his skill. In 2000 Camilo was selected as one of 10 semifinalists to compete in the Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Hand Drum Competition, reaching third place and being the youngest finalist in the history of the competition. He has been the recipient of the Celia Cruz Scholarship, a proclamation by the NYC Council, and the Harbor Achievement Award among others. He has recorded on 3 Grammy nominated albums and contributed his talents to an Emmy Award winning documentary. He has toured as a member of Eddie Palmieri’s Orchestra, Los Pleneros de la 21, Viento de Agua, PregonesPRTT, John Santos and Papo Vázquez, among others. He has participated in numerous PregonesPRTT musical theater productions.

ROSALBA ROLÓN  (Writer, Director) is the Artistic Director of Pregones + Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PregonesPRTT). She is an accomplished director and dramaturg specializing in the adaptation of literary and non-literary texts for stage performance with live music. Most recent productions include ¡GUARACHA!, which premiered in New York in 2019, We Have Iré  in collaboration with Paul S. Flores and Yosvani Terry, which premiered at YBCA/San Francisco, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, Betsy! (in collaboration with Roadside Theater/KY), Brides (in collaboration with sister theaters in Belgium and the Slovak Republic) and others. Recent distinctions include 2019 Creative Capital Award (with Paul Flores and Yosvany Terry) and 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award. She is a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee and co-Chair of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals 2021 National Conference. With PregonesPRTT’s Ensemble she has traveled to 37 states and 500+ cities in the U.S., and 18 countries.

DESMAR GUEVARA – (Piano, Composer, Musical Director) is a recognized champion of new music idioms in Latin Jazz, and composer of experimental and non-traditional music for live theater performance. He is longtime Musical Director of Pregones/PRTT, with dozens of original scores, songs, and arrangements to his credit, including the musical theater production I Like It Like That featuring salsa star Tito Nieves, Betsy! with Old Time master Ron Short and Nashville Jazz luminary Beegie Adair, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat and the upcoming production of Torched!. Desmar is founder-director of chamber jazz ensemble Taller Sicá and his numerous Latin music credits include concerts, tours, and recordings with genre greats like Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Andy Montañez, and Soledad Bravo. Recent chamber premieres include Grados Inefables, commissioned by arts presenters in New York, Colorado, and California, and funded in part by the National Performance Network, and The Last Taíno Battle, commissioned by the Multicultural Music Group.

JESSICA MOYA – (Production Manager) is a graduate of City University of New York/City College Department of Theater, she joined the company in 2005. Jessica was a Fellow of the TCG New Generations/Future Leaders Mentorship program. She has an exceptional portfolio of technical production credits, including collaborations with numerous Latinx theater and performance artists throughout NYC.  She has traveled extensively with PregonesPRTT Ensemble. Jessica plays a key role in all production runs by PregonesPRTT’s resident ensemble and visiting artists.

MILTON RUIZ – (Audio Engineer) is a sound professional and guitarist. He earned his BA in Music with emphasis in Sound Recording Technology from UMass Lowell. He has worked with Pregones since 2006. Pregones/PRTT credits include The Beep, Caravana Migrants!, Fly Babies, Game Over, Aloha Boricua, Call Me Esteban Only, Harlem Hellfighters, Dancing in My Cockroach Killers, Marchers, ¡Guaracha!, Evolution of A Sonero, We Have Iré as well as recording and mixing March Is Music concert seriesAs recording/mixing engineer, he has done albums for Rebio Diaz (Yuxtayacientes, HaciaContraDesde, El Septimo Diente) and Albert Marqués (Live In The South Bronx) among many others. He is currently working as audio engineer at Central Synagogue and Board Operator at NY Public Radio (WNYC).

Our Esteemed Funders – Click To Open

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of Pregones/PRTT. For a full list of our funders, visit www.pregonesprtt.org.

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Event Details

  • Location

    Online via Zoom

  • Date & Time

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 7:00pm

  • Collaborators

    Written & DIrected by
    Rosalba Rolón

    Music by
    Desmar Guevara

    FEATURING:
    Christin Eve Cato
    Caridad de La Luz
    José Joaquín García
    Omar Pérez
    Nyseli Vega
    Álvaro Benavides
    Anthony Carrillo
    Camilo Molina