Teatro Buendía Returns to Goodman Theatre with PEDRO PÁRAMO, 3/22-31

The world-premiere production of Pedro Páramo, one of the most culturally-significant magical realism tales of Latin American literature, heads into its final stage of development prior to its March 22-31 limited engagement in Goodman Theatre's Latino Theatre Festival. Festival curator Henry Godinez recently spent three weeks in rehearsals in Cuba working with Director Flora Lautén and Raquel Carrió on her stage adaptation of Juan Rulfo's 1955 novel. Music in the production features Chicago's Grammy-nominated Sones de Mexico. Pedro Páramo runs March 22 - 31, 2013 in the Owen Theatre. Opening night is Sunday, March 24 at 7:30pm.

Tickets ($14 - $32; subject to change) are on sale now and are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/LatinoTheatreFestival, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Pedro Páramo is presented in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and is performed in Spanish with English subtitles.

"Pedro Páramo is an artistic triumph for the Goodman and Teatro Buendía-an unprecedented partnership that forges an important cultural bond between the U.S. and Cuba," says Godinez, Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate who appears in the title role of the piece. "We are honored to unveil on American soil this unique theatrical premiere with its blended cast of Cuban and Chicago actors in our 2013 Latino Theatre Fest."

The cast for Pedro Páramo includes Chicago-based actors Charin Alvarez (Susana San Juan), Steve Casillas (Miguel Páramo/Donis), Laura Crotte (Eduviges), Sandra Delgado (Anita/Eva) and Henry Godinez (Pedro Páramo). The Cuban actors are Dania Aguerreberez (Angeles/Dona Fausta), Alejandro Alfonzo (El Padre Renteria), Ivanesa Cabrera (Dolores), Carlos Cruz (Abundio/Fulgor), Arnaldo Galbán Rivero (Juan Preciado) and Indira Valdes (Damiana). The musicians are Jomary Hechavarria (from Cuba), and Victor Pichardo (composer) and Zacbe Pichardo from Sones de Mexico.

Cuba's most celebrated theater company, Teatro Buendía made their Chicago debut with two productions in a sold-out limited engagement in the Goodman's 2010 Latino Theatre Festival. The presentations-La Visita de la Vieja Dama and Charenton-earned unanimous critical praise, hailed as "fascinating" (Chicago Tribune) and "spellbinding and enigmatic" (Time Out Chicago).

"It's thrilling to welcome back the always revolutionary Teatro Buendía, and to present a piece that is both so universally recognized in the Latin American world and immediately relevant to both of our countries," says Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. "Henry has made this artistic dream between our two theater companies-and between our two countries-a reality."

Pedro Páramo follows a son who returns home to meet his father and reveals how one man's unchecked appetite destroys both everything he loves and the town that made him great. Pedro Páramo was co-commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Goodman Theatre and developed in association with Northwestern University's Theatre and Interpretation Center. The collaborative process began in February 2012 with a workshop in Cuba with Teatro Buendía; later that spring, the text was further workshopped with the playwright and directors at Northwestern, followed by a presentation at the MCA. Godinez's recent December 2012 trip to Cuba was sponsored by a MacArthur Grant given to the MCA, which allowed professional American and Cuban actors to work towards a major American regional theater premiere for the first time. Development of Pedro Páramo was supported in part by the International Connections Fund of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Performing Americas Program of the National Performance Network.

Cuba's Teatro Buendía is renowned for its poignant adaptations of classic texts whose themes reflect the struggles and challenges of contemporary Cuban society. Teatro Buendía was founded in 1986 by actress, teacher and artistic director Flora Lautén, with graduates from the Instituto Superior de Arte. Lautén and playwright Raquel Carrió contextualize western and European classics in a uniquely Cuban setting, with an ensemble of actors who have rigorously trained with Lautén through the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana. The company's unique acting methods have thrilled audiences and critics alike-both in Cuba and internationally.

Latino Theatre Festival at Goodman Theatre has introduced Chicagoans to prominent Latino theater companies around the globe since its inception in 2003. Under the direction of Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, Latino Fest transforms the Goodman into a hub of international artistic exchange; productions by local, national and international theater artists, plus a variety of events, define the experience. Among the expanding list of international Latino theater companies that have performed at the Goodman since 2003: Compañia Marta Carrasco (Spain); Comediants (Spain); Teatro Buendía (Cuba); Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes (Mexico); and Pia Fraus (Brazil). National artists of note have come to the Goodman from New York (Universes' Blue Sweat; Adrianna Sevan's Taking Flight) and Los Angeles (Luiz Alfaro's The Book of Titus and Other Latino Bible Stories; Culture Clash's AmeriCCa). Local participants have included Aguijón Theater Company, Albany Park Theater Project, Chicago Children's Theatre, Luna Negra, Teatro Luna and Teatro Vista. The Boeing Company is the Festival Partner for the 2013 Latino Theatre Festival and State Farm is the Consortium Partner. Other production-specific sponsors include: Baxter International, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, The Joyce Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Chicago Community Trust.

MCA Stage is a nationally recognized presenter of contemporary theater, dance, music, and multimedia performances. Featuring leading performers from around the globe, including Chicago's most innovative artists, MCA Stage is the most active interdisciplinary performing arts presenter in Chicago. MCA Stage enjoys working year round with numerous arts and community organizations for the co-presentations of the performing arts, making the MCA a shared resource for the cultural life of our city. MCA Stage celebrates artists and their creative process, connecting audiences with artists in meaningful discourse with its Artists Up Close series of post-show talks, panels, roundtable discussions, workshops, and residencies. Audiences at MCA Stage performances receive one free museum admission with each ticket stub on the performance date or during the following week.

Goodman Theatre, "the leading regional theater in the nation's most important theater city" (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $250 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, "Chicago's most essential director" (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events-including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival-and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage-one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of Women's Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman's young professionals auxiliary group.

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