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BLACK BEANS PROJECT Digital World Premiere to be Presented by The Huntington

In Black Beans Project, a sister and brother meet virtually to share a secret family recipe that forces them to reveal secrets of their own.

BLACK BEANS PROJECT Digital World Premiere to be Presented by The Huntington

The Huntington will present Black Beans Project, a world premiere digital work by Huntington artist-in-residence Melinda Lopez and award-winning performer Joel Perez, directed by Jaime Castañeda, and available for on-demand streaming from May 11 - 30, 2021.

In Black Beans Project, a sister and brother (played by creators Lopez and Perez) meet virtually to share a secret family recipe that forces them to reveal secrets of their own. They share memories and make plans, transforming their pandemic panic to renewal in this tender comedy about family, food, and finding the strength to move on. Black Beans Project invites audiences to open a bottle of wine, chop some garlic, and savor the possibility of connecting with family after a long time apart.

For Melinda Lopez, the genesis of Black Beans Project began as a way to connect and communicate with audiences, but when she and co-creator Joel Perez started swapping stories and memories of their New England childhoods and Latinx backgrounds, the piece morphed into an original scripted story featuring compelling characters with a rich family history, a compact, 50-minute one-act piece with original music and video design.

"I don't have a brother, Joel doesn't have a sister. But we very quickly created this family that we got very excited about," says Lopez. "Black Beans Project is about cooking and the pandemic and love and family. What does it mean to be apart? What does it mean to be not quite out of this pandemic and having grieved? And yet to have hope."

"The impetus behind this project was food!" says Joel Perez. "I've been cooking more during the pandemic, and found myself calling my mom to talk me through recipes because I missed Puerto Rican food." The brother and sister in the play come together to take comfort in each other and in the ritual of preparing their beloved mother's black beans recipe, and the creators of the project hope that audiences will also find solace in the ritual of theatre and food, and that some might even cook along with the show.

Black Beans Project features performances by writers Lopez and Perez, as well as sound design and original music by Mikhail Fiksel and video design by Hana S. Kim. Tiffany L. Taveras is the video editor, Valentin Frank is the sound engineer, and Taylor Ness is the video and lighting engineer. Sam Layco is the stage manager, Charles Haugland is the dramaturg, and Caley Chase is the line producer.

For more information visit: huntingtontheatre.org/blackbeans


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