IATI Theater Opens its 2017 Spring Season with the World Premiere of GAZOLINE

By: Mar. 06, 2017

IATI Theater opens its 2017 Spring season with Gazoline, a play written by Jordi Casanova, one of Spain's most prolific contemporary playwrights, and inspired by the 2005 French riots, but with a 2017 New York Latino accent. Gazoline explores the complexities of the millennial generation, a group that has demonstrated to be more than video games and selfies - they are a growing voice and a force for positive change. Under the artistic direction of Jorge B. Merced, this cutting-edge production will take place at IATI Theater (64 E 4th St, between Bowery & 2nd Ave, Manhattan) from March 25 to April 16, 2017. Performances will be in Spanish with supertitles in English.

In an anti-immigrant setting, full of rage and frustration, five Latino teenagers address the complex relationship between their parents' migration past, and the fine manipulation behind groups that, sometimes, use their communities for their own political gain and the cultural clash in schools and neighborhoods that brutally draw adolescents together from different backgrounds. Gazoline is an exploration of emotions and interactions between young people in a constantly changing social environment-shown through visual poetry and Merced's aesthetic approach.

"There is nothing better than art to enlighten and enhance our civic duty in dire times. The full-scale war declared on immigrants by the current administration in the United States makes it almost imperative for artists to respond and challenge the oppressive environment that our immigrant communities are forced to endure," says director Jorge B. Merced.

"In Gazoline, the political, social and cultural circumstances that alienate the characters will also be the driving force to explore the value of violence (or not) when one is pushed to the limit," adds playwright Jordi Casanova.

The opus emerged from IATI Theater's play development program, Cimientos, which works with never-before produced plays. In 2014, a team of ten selected playwrights formed the Cimientos 2015 community. An ensemble of playwrights, IATI Theater's artistic staff and Literary Manager, along with the directors chosen to direct each play for a staged reading, read and fostered all plays, including Gazoline. For five months, the artists gathered collectively to develop each script; the process culminated in a staged reading for audience feedback.

"Aside from the writing skills and the development process it went through, what caught our attention was the political aspect of this play and its symbolisms. The play is based on real occurrences in Paris, where rioting youths (2005-2006) burned hundreds of cars," explains IATI Theater's Artistic Director, Winston Estévez, adding: "The cases were associated with immigrant communities that were against the political situation. The symbols of teenagers standing up to political turmoil and gasoline are some of the elements we want to theatrically explore and relate to our American actuality in 2017."

Gazoline is a reflection of today's sociopolitical climate in New York. Five millennials of Latino descent are at a crossroads: do they fight to stop the world's chaos and claim peace, opportunity and justice for all, or do they embrace the status quo and remain passive observers in a world that seems destined to war, commotion and hatred?

Featuring: Frances Arroyo, Diego Chiri, Gilberto Díaz, Mateo Lamuño, and Idalia Limón.
Stage Manager: Cristina Ayón Viesca. Set design: Warren Stiles. Lighting design: Miguel Valderrama. Sound design: Haydn Díaz & Gabriel García. Costume design: Leni Méndez. Graphic design: Evan Sargent.

Tickets are $30 and $25 for students and seniors. For more information call 212-505-6757 or visit http://www.iatitheater.org.

IATI Theater, led by Vivian Deangelo, Executive & Artistic Director, Winston Estévez, Artistic Director, and Andre Baruffi, Associate Artistic Director, is a Latino company that provokes introspection through cutting-edge performing arts, supporting multicultural, diverse and underserved communities while harnessing and empowering unique voices. Its activities include: a program of play development and staged readings (CIMIENTOS); a performing arts festival (PAM); a main-stage series with an award-winning repertoire of theater and multidisciplinary works; a children's repertoire combining entertainment and education; workshops enhancing different aspects of performing arts; thus providing a home for the creation and presentation of new works by new companies at affordable prices.

Associate Artistic Director at Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, where he has been a company member since 1987. An acclaimed theater artist, he trained with Osvaldo Dragún, Eugenio Barba, Miguel Rubio and Teresa Ralli (EITALC 89 - Cuba), Augusto Boal (Brazil & France), and at the Alvin Ailey Center (NY). His New York directing credits include: Fellini's La Strada with René Buch, El huesped vacío and The Smell of Popcorn (IATI). Pregones directing credits include: Baile Cangrejero, El Apagón, Blanco, Aloha Boricua, Migrants! Las facultades, Neon Baby, Marchers Trilogy, and 11 years of readings and workshop productions for the Asunción Playwrights Project. He is a graduate of City College-CUNY.

Catalan playwright and theatre director, born in Villafranca del Penedès. Jordi is the founding director of the company FlyHard, from 2005 to 2013. Founder and artistic director of the SALAFlyHard from the 2010/2011 season until 2013. Teacher of playwriting at the Institut del Teatre, Eolia and l'Escac, he has written around thirty texts for theatre, prominently including Ruz-Bárcenas, Una història catalana, Pàtria, Un home amb ulleres de pasta, Sopar amb batalla, La Revolució, Pàtria.

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico (2015), Frances is thrilled to be making her New York City acting debut at the IATI Theater. She recently trained and perform with The Moscow Art Theater School in The Cherry Orchard directed by Ilja Bocharnikovs. As a member of the University of Puerto Rico Traveling Theater directed by Dean Zayas, Frances performed abroad in Spain (Madrid, Almagro, Murcia). Other theater credits include: Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), Antigone (The Phoenician Women), Mother in Law (Blood Wedding), Brighella (Commedia dell' Arte), and Washer Women (Yerma). She has also collaborated with the Repertory Theater of the University of Puerto Rico musicals productions of Into the Woods and The Sound of Music. This fall she will be pursuing her MA in Musical Theater from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Bilingual actor and director originally from Lima, Peru. He graduated from Bucknell University with a concentration in directing for the stage. He is the recipient of the HOLA Award 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Direction for the Off-Broadway play "La gran Semíramis". He also received the FUERZA Awards 2016 for Best Director and Best Production for the play "Olvidadas". He has directed in Repertorio Español, IATI Theater, Teatro Pregones, Teatro SEA and Julia de Burgos Theatre. He recently worked as an Assistant Director in the production of "AdA: Authors directing Authors" at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, directed by Neil LaBute, Marco Calvani and Marta Buchaca. For more info visit www.diegochiri.com.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1988, Gilberto was brought up in a musical environment. His interest in the arts started at the age of 5. In 2008, he started acting in his country of origin. Attracted to film and television, he took workshops and acting classes with José E. Hernández, Joann Polanco and Teófilo Torres. Later, he moved to NYC to continue his education. He recently completed a two-year training program on the Meisner Technique at the William Esper Studio with Terry Knickerbocker as his teacher. He is a member of the theater company "Teatro 220", which performs at LaTea Theater in NYC and also works at Teatro SEA.

Recent transplant from Seattle, where she received rave reviews as Marela in "Anna in the Tropics" by Nilo Cruz, at Burien Actors Theatre. She has appeared in numerous commercials and short films, including "What a Day." She studied drama at the Nuevo León Autonomous University in her native México and continued her training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY); Freehold Theater and Unexpected Productions (Seattle); Filmbase and The Gaiety School of Acting (Dublin, Ireland). She feels very grateful to the entire team of this Gazoline production - cast and crew - for the opportunity to create Omaira, and not only allow her to sing, but also rap on stage!

Spanish actor and director based in New York City. Mateo has trained full time at HB Studio in New York, completing the Acting Conservatory Program "Hagen Core Training", and in Madrid at William Layton Theatre Lab. Mateo attended the Complutense University of Madrid and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Communication. After initiating his career in Madrid, studying and working in both short-films and theater, he has appeared in several Off-Off Broadway productions performing in such venues as the HB Playwrights Theater, The Producers' Club, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and worked with companies such as Love Creek Productions, Step1 Theater Project, and Barkers Theater Company. The upcoming production of "Gazoline" is Mateo's first collaboration with IATI Theater.

Originally from Mexico City. After 3 years of professionally stage managing non-stop, Cristina has had the pleasure of working with a large group of prestigious companies and artists in New York City. Her credits include a vast number of plays with Repertorio Español, LARK Play Development Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Water People Theatre, Fundamental Theatre Project, AENY and the Broadway production of The Lion King in her native city. She is very excited to be working with IATI Theater again.