In 2003, under the leadership of Henry Godinez and the Board, The Goodman has played host to the very popular Latino Theatre Festival, which allows the audiences of Chicago to witness works from theater companies and writers from Spain,Cuba,Brazil,Mexico and of course some of our local companies. It is a place where young writers can show American audiences what they have created and for our local theater companies to be able to work with companies from these other counties.
This year, the festival which recently began runs from March through the end of July. While it does not have as many smaller productions ( it ha sin the past been composed of one major show along with lots of one and two nighters, and some in rep), we get to partake of three productions, the first, from Cuba,”Pedro Paramo ( see my review at www.aroundthetownchicago.com) that runs through the end of March ( 3/31). A joint venture between The Goodman and Cuba;s TeaotroBuendia, in association with MCA of Chicago and Northwestern University. A strong story about a young man struggle to meet the spirits of his family’s past, head – on! This production, featuring Mr. Godinez, himself is a sparkling mixture of the written word, marvelous music, perfect moods and acting that will “blow you away”.
The second production is “The Happiest Song Plays last” written by Quiara Alegria Hudes and directed by Edward Torres ( of local Teatro Vista). This is in fact the third part of a trilogy of plays by Ms Hudes about her character, Elliot, a Puerto Rican soldier. In this play, we follow him into his new career as a tech advisor of a film based on the Iraq War. As in her past stories, Elliot’s story is mixed with current events and his family from Philadelphia, exploring the joys and tragedies that can transform a life, forever. This production will run from April 13th through May 12th.
The final eveny on stage of this, the 2013 Latino Theatre Festival is entitled “Home/Land” and was written and performed by the talented ensemble known as The Albany Park Theater Project. This is a multi layered view od the complex issues surrounding “immigration”. It is based on two years of exploration and interviews by the 32 students who are members of this ensemble. What we learn from these interviews will open ones’ eyes to what an immigrant’s life is like.- This is one that will be funny, sad, educational and highly emotional. many of the audience members who attend will understand all the pieces of the puzzle they explore. The American audience, one unfamiliar with the day to day activities and fears of the immigrant, will be educated. This production will run from July 18th thru the 28th.
All of the productions are done in the Owen Theatre of The Goodman located at 170 N. Dearborn in Chicago except “The Happiest Song Plays Last” which will be presented at the Chicago Cultural Center-Claudia Cassidy Theatre at Randolph and Michigan. This production will be FREE, BUT reservations are needed! Call 312-443-3800
To get exact dates and times and reserve tickets you can visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org/LatinoTheatreFest