Photo Flash: First Look at International Studio Theater's STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE Off-Broadway

International Studio Theater will present the Off-Broadway premiere of Strawberry & Chocolate by Senel Paz (newly translated by Eugene Nuñez), the 1990 three character play that was later made into an acclaimed Oscar nominated film, beginning a limited engagement tonight, November 1st at the new off-Broadway 777 Eighth Avenue Theater. Tony Award winner Roger Robinson directs a cast that features Roy Arias, A.J. Cedeño, and Andhy Mendez. This production marks the premiere of the English language version of this play. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

Havana Cuba, 1979: David (A.J. Cedeño) is a university student who meets Diego (Roy Arias), a gay artist unhappy with the Castro regime's attitude toward the LGBT community as well as the censorship of culture. David's homophobic classmate Miguel (Andhy Mendez) plans to use David to spy on Diego, a person whom they see as aberrant and dangerous to the Communist cause; Diego, for his part, initiates the friendship with sexual intentions.

Director Roger Robinson is a 47-year theater veteran with extensive stage credits and experience. Audiences have applauded his work on Broadway, off-Broadway and in most of the prominent regional theaters across the country. He has been honored with various awards in theater including the Tony Award, the Image Award, the Richard Seff Award and the NY Critics Circle Award. In addition to his many theater credits, he has a multitude of television and film credits, some of which have garnered him a Independent Spirit Award nomination, and an OUTFEST award as best actor in film. Directorial he has helmed such plays as Dutchman, The Emigrants, A Taste Of Honey, Candida, Othello, The Taming Of The Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, and In New England Winter. His production of The Emigrants was the official USA entry at the 2003 Dominican Theater Festival in Santo Domingo, DR where it garnered sold-out audiences and critical acclaim.

Roy Arias has an MFA in acting from National Theatre Conservatory, BA Cum Laude in theatre, Lehman College. Multiple winner of the (HOLA) Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors and the (ACE) Association of Latino Critics Award for Best Actor and the OOBR Award for Excellence in a Theatre Production. Television and film credits include "One Life To Live", "The Equalizer" and "100 Center Street," "Shades of Gray," "School of Rock'" "Dinner With Gabriel," and "For Her." Theatre credits include Shakespeare & Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Spanish Repertory Theatre. Acting teacher and Director of The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Training Unit for over 4 years.

A.J. Cedeño holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame (where he played college football), and an MFA from Case-Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House. His New York credits include television roles on "Elementary," "Smash," and "One Life to Live," as well as starring roles in Theater Productions of March Madness (Abingdon Theater) and The Radiant (Red Fern Theater). He has done commercial work for Comcast, Tiffany & Co., Radio Shack, the US Army Reserve and others. This will be Mr. Cedeño's Off-Broadway debut.

Andhy Mendez was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Miami, Florida at an early age. He is a graduate of The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Theatre credits include Hamlet: Prince of Cuba, Between Two Worlds, The Duchess of Malfi, I Am a Camera, Macbeth: Let It Be. Film and television credits include "Golden Boy," "Gossip Girl," "NYC 22." "Blue Bloods," "Gunny" Cuban Blood and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story. This will be Mr. Mendez's Off-Broadway debut.

Performances for Strawberry & Chocolate will be Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $25 and $49.50. All performances will take place on the new off-Broadway theater, 777 Eighth Avenue (at 47th Street). Tickets may be purchased at or by calling toll free 866/811-4111.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

Roy Arias and A.J. Cedeno

Roy Arias and A.J. Cedeno

Roy Arias, A.J. Cedeno, and Andhy Mendez

Roy Arias, A.J. Cedeno, and Andhy Mendez

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