Latino Playwrights Taking Over Hartford In June! – by Bessy Reyna

Get ready for a Latino cultural invasion when both TheaterWorks and Hartford Stage present “works in progress” by Latino playwrights as part of their upcoming programs.

At TheaterWorks, we will have the opportunity to watch “Moonlighters” a new and very exciting work by Hartford’s Cindy Martinez. It is streaming now through June 25. The show is directed by Jenn Thompson, who directed the hit “Bye, Bye Birdie ” at Goodspeed Musicals in 2016 and The Call and A Doll’s House Part 2 at TheaterWorks.

Martinez’s play is the fourth one selected as part of the series to be presented as a “workshop” or “plays in progress.” Created to provide an opportunity for local playwrights to work together with professional and experienced playwrights and dramaturges.

In a post on her Facebook page, Martinez wrote, “Writing my play became way more fun when my dramaturge Daphnie Sicre joined me in strengthening the script. When I explained my vision for the world of the play, her eyes lit up. Latina to Latina…I can’t express how wonderful it felt to work with someone who immediately…got it.”

The Martinez/Sicre collaboration clearly shows the importance, and the positive effect, that a program like this has to offer, and their impact on the professional development of the talent of young playwrights.

According to the press release by TheaterWorks: Moonlighters is a futuristic workplace story centering on female friendship and including unique characters working in the offices of Social Services. Among them is the boss who is hearing things; the referral officer advocating for a murderer. Long-time colleagues at each other’s throats, and Nueva, the new recruit, is a casualty of the agency’s biggest failure. Nueva – whose mission is to improve a system that has lost its human touch – unearths information that threatens an important new relationship and forces her to confront the cost of forgiveness.

TheaterWorks has gone all out to make this production as unique and exciting as possible. Working with the Bass/Gama casting agency, “Moonlighters” features a wonderful cast of well-known Latino professionals.

One of them, Janet Dacal, received the Drama Desk Award for the performance in “In the Heights” in 2007. After her wonderful performance in the musical ” Bye, Bye, Birdie ” became a box-office hit, she became very popular with Connecticut audiences after her wonderful performance in the musical “Bye, Bye, Birdie”. Dacal has been extremely busy since we last saw her in Connecticut. She toured with the play “The Band’s Visit” and has recorded “My Standards” A compilation of boleros and Broadway Musical numbers.

Among the cast making their theater debut at TW is Herb Newsome, in the role of Vetty. Newsome has acted in five plays by the important African-American playwright August Wilson. He was also in ”Riding The Turnpike” another of Cindy Martinez’s plays. His film credits include The Brother From Another Planet; Untamed; American Exit; Sweet Nothings and Abandoned.

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