HAMILTON'S Jon Rua to Read from THE WAR BOYS at Americas Society

By: Oct. 12, 2016
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In advance of the NYC premiere of Naomi Wallace's 1993 play The War Boys to be directed by James Will McBride, The Artist's Crossing presents a special panel discussion and reading of the play at The Americas Society on October 17, 2016 at 7:00pm.

Jon Rua (Hamilton) will read a portion of the play followed by a panel discussion about the contemporary Latino narratives and identities in light of the conversation about immigration. The panel discussion will be moderated by journalist Gustavo Martínez Contreras. The panel will be made up of Dr. Sal Acosta of Fordham University, Rigoberto González, author of Unpeopled Eden, and the dramaturg Catherine María Rodríguez.

The War Boys is about three young men patrolling the Texas/Mexican border. They earn ten dollars for each person that they spot and report to the authorities. As they wait and watch, they play a game that gives us insight into the influences that have shaped their views of the world. The play invites us to examine the elements in our culture that create sexism, racism, and xenophobia. Despite the fact that The War Boys was written in the early 90's, the play is more relevant than ever given the current election cycle.

The NYC Premiere of The War Boys by Naomi Wallace will be presented at Access Theatre in Tribeca March 23-April 9, 2017. The production is directed and produced by James Will McBride and produced by Joshua Morgan and Christopher Stephens in association with The Artist's Crossing of which Broadway's Judith Blazer is the Artistic Director. Sets and costumes will be designed by Mariana Sanchez. Casting for the production is yet to be announced.

The reading and panel will be presented on October 17th, 2016 at 7:00pm at The Americas Society, which is located at 680 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchase on The Americas Society's website: www.as-coa.org/events/naomi-wallaces-war-boys.

Jon Rua is an actor, singer, and choreographer. Born to a family of Colombian immigrants, he was most recently part of the original cast of Broadway's mega-hit Hamilton. Other Broadway credits include Hands on a Hardbody and In the Heights. As an actor, he has also appeared Off-Broadway in Hamilton (The Public Theater), Kung Fu (Signature Theater), Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and Damn Yankees (Encores! series). As a choreographer, he has contributed to Broadway's Hamilton, On Your Feet, Bring It On: The Musical, Hands on a Hardbody, In the Heights, and NYCC's The Wiz. He is a creative consultant on Spongebob the Musical.

Gustavo Martínez Contreras was born in Texas, brewed in Mexico City, fermented at the Mexico-United States border, primed walking the streets of Philadelphia, and aged eating grits, fried chicken, and peaches in Atlanta. He later became a béisbol and fútbol writer for El Diario de Nueva York. He has written about Latinos and immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. Although he does not have a shelf full of awards, Gustavo has received thank you notes and hugs from people who have trusted him with their stories. His work has appeared in MSNBC, New York Public Radio, NPR's Latino USA, Remezcla, Periódico Reforma, Revista Proceso, El Diario de Nueva York, the Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Weekly, among others. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Catherine María Rodríguez is a bilingual freelance dramaturg with roots in New Orleans and Nicaragua. Most recently in Baltimore, she dramaturged various Center Stage productions, produced several of its new play initiatives, and guest lectured at Catholic University. An advocate for parity and inclusion, she co-organized #WikiTurgy, a national Edit-A-Thon to diversify Wikipedia's theater coverage, and co-hosted the Dramaturgy Open Office Hours Project. Catherine serves as both a Steering Committee and Board member of the Latina/o Theatre Commons and Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas, respectively. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Yale School of Drama, where credits include founding El Colectivo (Yale's Latinx affinity theater organization) and dramaturging Yale Rep's 50th anniversary season production of Seven Guitars. Past credits: El Círculo Teatral (México), Borderlands (Tucson), Steppenwolf, The NOLA Project, and Northwestern University. Member: El Colectivo; Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas; National Association for Latina/o Arts & Cultures. Awards: 2014 Dramaturg Driven Grant, LMDA; 2014 Leadership Institute Fellow, National Association of Latina/o Arts & Cultures; 2013 Dramaturgy Debut Panelist, Association for Theatre in Higher Education; 2013 Regional Student Dramaturgy Award, LMDA & Kennedy Center. Carnegie Mellon: BFA, Dramaturgy; BA, Latina/o Studies. Twitter: @latinadramaturg

Rigoberto González is the author 17 books, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times.

Dr. Sal Acosta is associate professor of history at Fordham University. He focuses on the social impact of the development of the Southwest and on the social and cultural experiences of Latinos since 1846. His book, Sanctioning Matrimony: Western Expansion and Interethnic Marriage in the Arizona Borderlands, was published by the University of Arizona Press in early 2016. His work reevaluates the perception that intermarriages in the Southwest occurred primarily among enterprising white men and the daughters of the old Mexican elites. Dr. Acosta teaches courses in Latino History, US immigration and race, and US-Latin America relations.

James Will McBride's theatrical directing credits include Tauris, War Prayer, The Little Ghost, and Naomi Wallace's The Retreating World. He served as resident assistant director at Hartford Stage for two seasons and is a former Directing Candidate in The American Theatre Wing's SpringBoradNYC program. He's assisted directors including Darko Tresnjak, Kent Thompson, Mark Lamos, Michael Wilson, and Giovanna Sardelli. For more visit JamesWillMcBride.com.

Joshua Morgan was the founding Artistic Director of No Rules Theatre Company in DC for 6 years and sits on the board of the Artists Crossing in. He appeared in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables and is currently playing Bud Frump in How to Succeed... at TUTS in Houston. He appeared in Arena Stage's production of Fiddler on the Roof and Signature Theatre's production of Nick Blaemire's Soon. As a director, Joshua spearheaded three sold out productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in NC and DC, received rave reviews for his work on Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) as well as the Washington, DC premiere of Madhuri Shekar's, In Love and Warcraft for which he is currently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Joshua He is a graduate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. @JoshuaMorgan25

Christopher Stephens is a founding board member of Artist's Crossing. He is also a voice teacher, pianist, and music director. Credits include Wicked and Matilda (Broadway), Shout! the mod musical (off-Broadway; recording on Rhino Records),Take the Stage with the Broadway Stars (starring Tony Award winner Jessie Meuller, Carnegie Hall), Captain Louie (off-Broadway), Day Dreaming: Channeling Doris Day (The Zipper Factory; LA's Blank Theater), Screams of Kitty Genovese (NY Musical Theatre Festival), Burly-Q (Amas), Equinoxious (Joe's Pub), A Bridge Across Time (The Alley in Houston), Lucky Stiff (Sage Theater NYC). Served as pianist for Catherine Fitzmaurice, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Jacobs, Liz Kaplan, Tina Landau, Leslie Stifelman, Joan Melton, Alan Menken, Kelli O'Hara, Heather Parcells, Mandy Patinkin,Teri Ralston, Mark Redanty, Emily Skinner, Meri Sugarman (Tara Rubin Casting), and Joseph Thalken. Teaching credits include Act & Art (Buenos Aires), AMDA, Auburn University, Broadway Triple Threat, HB Studios, NYU, Pace University, Wright State University, Judith Blazer's the Artist's Crossing (artistscrossing.org), Projazz (Chile), Showa University of Music (Japan), Torggler Vocal Institute, Sing Smart Act Smart Youth, Uruguayan Musical Theater Congress, Utah Conservatory. An Upright Citizen's Bridage-trained improviser appearing on two web series: Dominatrix Breakroom and City of Dreams. Private voice teacher and coach in New York City. A graduate of the University Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Christopherstephensvoice.com

The America's Society is the premier forum dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Its mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social, and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.

The Artist's Crossing is a collective of diverse and dedicated theatre professionals who wish to teach, mentor and create a company with young aspiring artists. Working, studying, and performing together these generations of artists inspire and learn from each other.