BUFFALO, NY. -- On May 27th, Raíces Theatre Company will open its upcoming production of Desde el Puente. The show will feature a bilingual series of one-act plays written by eight playwrights, two of which live in the Buffalo area. Three other one-act plays have been written by members of the Raíces ensemble. These one-acts encompass the Latino experience in this country from issues of border crossings to stereotyping to family relationships.
Desde el Puente will be an ensemble production unlike most theatrical experiences produced in the Western New York area. Every member of the eight-person cast is a member of the Raíces Theatre Company ensemble. Additionally, each of the eleven one-act plays is directed by different members of the ensemble. This celebration of Latino stories is being offered in tribute to Rafael Pérez, a local community leader and writer who passed away in 2006 and who wrote a weekly radio segment called “Desde el Puente.”
“It has always been our mission to develop original work,” said Raíces Artistic Director Victoria Pérez, “and with Desde el Puente we are able to give voice to new work from playwrights across the country and our own ensemble members.” Although the Latino experience is difficult to define, Pérez finds that the human experience of these stories on stage touches on important issues of immigration, religion, legacy, adultery, salsa music and senior citizens. “There’s drama, comedy, young characters, old characters, diverse backgrounds and plays in English, Spanish and Spanglish! De todo un poco!”
Raíces ensemble member Ingrid Córdova serves as the New Play Coordinator for this one-act festival and has read more than 100 plays coming as far away as Brazil, Italy and New Zealand. After selecting 30 plays from the initial call for new works, Córdova and Pérez worked together to whittle the field down to the 10 one-acts that will be produced. “We have ended up with some wonderful work,” Córdova said, including stories dealing with social and political issues as well as plays with great humor and music.
Desde el Puente will open on Friday, May 27th and run for two weekends until Sunday, June 5th. Friday, Saturday shows are at 8 PM, Sunday at 6 PM. There will also be a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:30, followed by a talkback with the ensemble. Performances take place at the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor. Desde el Puente stars Steve Brachmann, Ingrid Córdova, Alejandro Gómez, Rolando Martín Gómez, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez, Dewel Pérez, Maria Pérez-Gómez, Victoria Pérez and Shalimar Rodríguez. Directors include Victoria Pérez, Ingrid Córdova, Rolando Martín Gómez, Steve Brachmann, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez and Dewel Pérez. General admission tickets are $18 and can be reserved by calling 716-381-9333 or by visiting raicestheatrecompany.com.