Photo Flash: First Look at Teatro Vista's WHITE TIE BALL, Opening Tonight
Teatro Vista, Chicago's largest non-profit Equity Latino theater company, will launch the company's first season as a resident company at Victory Gardens Theater with the world premiere of White Tie Ball, Martín Zimmerman's new play about two brothers, one easily identified as Latino, another who isn't, and the moral and emotional dilemmas they find themselves in. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the actors onstage below!
Teatro Vista co-founder Edward Torres, fresh from his acclaimed world premiere staging of Quiara Alegría Hudes' The Happiest Songs Play Last this spring at Goodman Theatre, will direcT. White Tie Ball will star Teatro Vista Ensemble members Marvin Quijada and Gabriel Ruiz, along with Jan Radcliff and Nate Santana. Designers include Collette Pollard (set), Christine Pascual (costumes) and Jesse Klug (lights).
White Tall Ball opens tonight, September 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Victory Gardens' 109-seat Richard Christiansen Theater.
White Tie Ball is a contemporary story about two brothers, one easily identified as Latino, another who isn't, and the moral and emotional dilemmas they find themselves in. Edward is brown skinned and looks like their mother. Beto is blonde, fair skinned and looks like their white father. Although they were raised together in an impoverished Latino neighborhood in Tucson, Edward has worked his way through law school to become an Arizona County Attorney. Beto, however, fell in with a Latino gang and was convicted of armed robbery at age 19.At the start of the play, Beto has just been paroled from prison, while Edward has recently been elected to office. The bond between the two brothers is the strongest it has been in years, largely due to Edward's tireless efforts to help Beto re-build his life. But when one of Beto's former gang friends mistakenly kills an on-duty Latina police officer, Edward has to prosecute the case. The decisions Edward faces about what charges to pursue put both his career and his relationship with his brother in jeopardy.
Martín Zimmerman is a multi-ethnic, bilingual playwright whose work spans a wide variety of styles, but always aspires to a seamless unity of aesthetic and story. He has two world premieres opening this September: White Tie Ball with Teatro Vista in Chicago, and Seven Spots on the Sun at Cincinnati Playhouse. The Goodman Theatre recently announcEd Zimmerman's play The Solid Sand Below, developed during his time as a member of the Goodman's Playwrights Unit and selected for the 2013 National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, will be part of the Goodman's 2013 New Stages Festival in December. His plays have been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, The Playwrights' Center, ALLIANCE THEATRE, A.C.T. (Seattle), PlayPenn, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, American Theater Company, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Chicago Dramatists, Primary Stages, Teatro Vista, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, Theatre Row, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Borderlands Theater, Source Festival, The Gift, Red Tape, The University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University with upcoming projects at Marin Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, and Teatro Vista. A recipient of the Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, McKnight Advancement Grant, Jerome Fellowship, Carl Djerassi Playwriting Fellowship, National New Play Network's Smith Prize, and a Core Apprenticeship at The Playwrights' Center, Zimmerman has been the Alliance for Latino Theater Artists (ALTA) Artist of the Month, was a member of the 2011-2012 Playwrights' Unit at Goodman Theatre, where he is currently under commission, is a Playwright in Residence at Teatro Vista, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and has been a finalist for the Kendeda Competition, Heideman Award, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He has also been a semi-finalist for The Julie Harris Playwright Award, and the WordBridge Playwrights Lab. MFA in Playwriting: The University of Texas at Austin. BA in Theater Studies, BS in Economics: Duke University. For more information visit martingzimmerman.com.
Eddie Torres (director) most recently directed the world premiere this spring of Quiara AlegríaHudes' The Happiest Songs Play Last this spring at Goodman. He previously staged Fish Menduring the Goodman's 2011-12 Season, which was nominated for three Jeff Awards. He directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater (produced in association with Teatro Vista) which was named Best Play of 2009 by theChicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and earned Jeff awards for Best Production and Best Director. He also directed subsequent productions off Broadway at New York's Second Stage Theatre (2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and Obie Award for Best Play), and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to critical acclaim. His Teatro Vista directing credits also include The Show Host, Jamie Pachino's Aurora's Motive, Romulus Linney's Ambrosio, Edwin Sánchez's Icarus, Reuben Gonzalez's The Boiler Room and Karen Zacarías' The Sins of Sor Juana. Other Chicago directing credits include How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence at Steppenwolf for Young Adults; Amparo Garcia-Crow's Cocks Have Claws and Wings to Fly and Migdalia Cruz's Lolita de Lares. As an actor he has appeared in Oedipus El Rey at Victory Gardens Theater; El Grito del Bronx, a co-production with Collaboraction in association with Goodman Theatre; the Goodman's production of The Cook; and Teatro Vista's productions of Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at the Goodman and Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble as part of the Visiting Company Initiative at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Other Chicago acting credits include roles at the Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Garden Theater, Latino Chicago Theater Company, Court Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Teatro Vista. He was the recipient of a 2010 3Arts Artist Award, and was featured as guest director at the 2011 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Torres has a BA in theater from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MFA in film from Columbia College Chicago. He serves on the Illinois Arts Council, and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Theater Panel (2005 - 2007) and on the MAP Fund Theatre Panel (2008).
Marvin Quijada (Jimenez), a Teatro Vista Ensemble member, performed this past season in the company's world premiere of I put the fear of mexico in 'em and last season's Momma's Boyz. Other credits include Teatro Luna's Your Problem with Men and roles with Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass, Silent Theater, Urban Theater, Goodman, Silk Road Rising, Steppenwolf, Next and Stage Left.
Gabriel Ruiz (Edward), also a Teatro Vista Ensemble member, last appeared at Teatro Vista in Our Lady of the Underpass. He won accolades this spring for his performance in Remy Bumppo'sCreditors. Other credits include Working at the Broadway Playhouse, Esperanza Rising for Chicago Children's Theatre, and roles at Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass, American Theater Company and 16th Street Theater.
Jan Radcliff (Spencer), a recent transplant to Chicago, is making her local stage debut in White Tie Ball. Her recent theater credits include productions at Connecticut Rep and Jeff Daniel's Purple Rose Theatre.
Nate Santana (Beto) makes his Teatro Vista mainstage debut, stepping up from understudy forMomma's Boyz in 2011. Other Chicago credits include Bohemian Theatre Ensemble's The Rainmaker (Jeff Nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actor), City Lit's Comrades Mine, First Folio's Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet, and The Side Project's Slipping.
Teatro Vista was founded in 1989. Today, Teatro Vista is Chicago's largest non-profit Equity Latino theater company producing full-scale, Latino-oriented, theatrical productions in English. Teatro Vista is firmly committed to sharing and celebrating the riches of Latino culture with all Chicago theater audiences. This commitment stems from the belief that there are as many similarities between us as there are differences, and that the answer to breaking down the walls of prejudice and stereotypes lies in understanding these similarities and differences. Ultimately, it is through this "view" that Teatro Vista intends to bridge the gap between Latino and non-Latino cultures in Chicago. www.teatrovista.org
Performance times through October 13 are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. All tickets are $25. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens box office, 773.871.3000, or purchase online at victorygardens.org. Victory Gardens is located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Metered, street, nearby garage and occasional valet parking is available. The theater is easily accessed via the CTA Red, Purple and Brown lines (Fullerton stop), and the #8 Halsted and #74 Fullerton CTA buses.
Photo Credit: Charles Osgood
Gabriel Ruiz with Jan Radcliff
Marvin Quijada and Gabriel Ruiz