MÁSCARAS AFUERA (Masks Off) to be Part of LGBTQ Latino Festival FUERZAfest

MÁSCARAS AFUERA (Masks Off) to be Part of LGBTQ Latino Festival FUERZAfest

FUERZAfest - Latino LGBTQ Festival presented by the Hispanic Federation returns in May of 2017 on its second edition in New York. MÁSCARAS AFUERA (Masks Off) is one of the eight plays chosen to be part of this festival, a comedy by Joselo Arroyo directed by Gerardo Gudiño with Edna Lee Figueroa and Edmi De Jesús.

Two childhood friends meet a radio station to confess secrets that make them take their masks off. Marta is divorced, has a daughter, is "promiscuous", and has many prejudices. Luisa is married, has a son, is a bit reserved, and recently "discovered" something that changed her life.

FUERZAfest will bring together members of New York City's diverse LGBTQ communities, allies, and artists for a 12-day (May 10th-May 21st) celebration of Latino LGBTQ culture under the theme "Breaking Down Walls" providing a space for dialogue and awareness of social issues, including the prejudices stemming from ignorance and homophobia that threaten the LGBTQ community.

Supported by the Hispanic Federation, FUERZAfest will highlight stage and film work, art exhibitions, workshops and panel discussions that contribute to the gay rights movement. The central focus will be a competitive showcasing of one-act plays by individual theater groups, which will vie for FUERZA Awards, including Best Production, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.

Gerardo Gudiño is the director. The kind of humor of this play inspired him to give it an "Almodovarian" vision to its staging, from the direction to the actresses as to the design and technical aspects. Gudiño holds a degree in Theater Studies from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina and a Master's Degree in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He has several directing credits in Córdoba and New York. MÁSCARAS AFUERA is the fifth play he directs in this city. He also studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York and is an actor in Repertorio Español for 17 years. He has won several ACE and HOLA Awards.

Edna Lee Figueroa is a theater, film and television actress (SAG-AFTRA) and theater producer. She's a company member of Repertorio Español and Popup Theatrics, is an associate artist of Teatro Círculo and Boundless Theater Company. She has worked with more than 10 companies in NY in English and Spanish including Working Theater, The Internationalists, Fringe NYC, Dramatic Question Theater. She has been awarded for her theater and film performances by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York (ACE) and Independent Theater Artists (ATI). She's a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico. www.ednaleefigueroa.com

Edmi De Jesús, SAG-AFTRA actress, had performed from regional works to independent films and commercials nationwide. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York and RADA in London during a special summer program. She's the Artistic Director of Producciones El Barrio having produced "Mi última noche con Rubén Blades", and co-produced "Santa Bárbara es una femme fatale" and "Juerga en el Barrio".

Joselo Arroyo in addition to having written a dozen comedies, has written plays for children's theater and dramas. He's an actor, playwright, screenwriter, theater director, designer, voice over artist, artisan, and teacher. Graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a professional career of more than 25 years in Theater. Arroyo wrote MÁSCARAS AFUERA for male actors with a story about men. This year 2017, eleven years after its first opening night in 2006 in Puerto Rico, it will be performed by actresses in an adaptation by and production of Edna Lee Figueroa. "It's very interesting and pleasant to me whenever one of my plays is produced. Especially in this occasion in which an adaptation has been made with female characters. I'm very anxious to see the result. I'm sure that the audience and I, both, will have a fun time." - the playwright commented, who will travel from Puerto Rico to be present at the premiere of the comedy and will participate in some of the activities of FUERZAfest.

It's not the first time that one of Arroyo's text is presented in New York, this one is his third. The first one of his plays in the Big Apple was "The Wedding Dress", second place winner of the Nuestras Voces Contest in Repertorio Español in 2014 and "Láyel", monologue nominated to a 2015 HOLA Award and 2016 ATI Award produced by Teatro Círculo in CALLBACKseries2015. In 2009, he published his first book entitled "3D2", an anthology of three comedies of two characters each in a single act and MÁSCARAS AFUERA is part of that trilogy.

MÁSCARAS AFUERA will have a VERY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT of two performances: May Friday 19th at 7pm and Saturday 20th at 2pm, performed in Spanish with English translation. The festival divided the eight plays performances days by Programs A, B, C, and D. This comedy is part of Program D.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

www.fuerzafest.com

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