Hero Theatre Reveals Dates For the World Premiere of NUESTRO PLANETA: COLOMBIA, LUZMI

Performances run Friday, October 4th through October 27th.

By: Jul. 08, 2024
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HERO Theatre has announced the world premiere of Luzmi by Diana Burbano, performing at The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles. Luzmi, directed by HERO Theatre Producing Artistic Director Elisa Bocanegra, marks the U.S. premiere of HERO Theatre and HERO Multimedia's Nuestro Planeta, a new works commissioning initiative rooted in research around environmental justice issues happening in Latine countries and how Latine American families are directly affected. Other commissions currently in the works with Nuestro Planeta include Brian Quijada (El Salvador), Teatro Akabal (Guatemala), and Phanesia Pharel (Haiti). Last fall, HERO Theatre presented Nuestro Planeta: Bahía Kino, a co-production with Prescott College's Kino Bay Center in Bahía de Kino, Mexico. Luzmi is the second production for Nuestro Planeta, and the first presented in the U.S. Other areas included in Nuestro Planeta include Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and more.

After its successful workshop staged reading at New York Stage and Film in the summer of 2022, Nuestro Planeta: COLOMBIA, Luzmi will conclude HERO Theatre's 2023-2024 season.

Nuestro Planeta: COLOMBIA, Luzmi is about a young woman, Luzmi, who travels back to her birthplace of Colombia, a place she left as a child, to learn more about her family after her mother's recent death. The play begins with a trip to the lush coffee-growing mountains of Colombia and follows her into the Amazon rainforest, where she searches for the answers to a dark secret her mother kept. Based on two research trips to the Amazon rainforest with Producing Artistic Director Elisa Bocanegra, the play educates audiences about the rich biodiversity of Colombia and the environmental injustices indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest face. The play will be presented in English and subtitled in Spanish.

The research, development, and production of Luzmi is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, The MAP Fund, and Fulbright Colombia. Director Elisa Bocanegra received both a MAP Award and a Fulbright Award for environmental research in Colombia.

Nuestro Planeta: COLOMBIA, Luzmi opens Friday, October 4th, running through October 27th at Inner-City Arts, located at 720 Kohler St, Los Angeles, CA 90021. Tickets will be available starting in August. More information is available at www.herotheatre.org or 323-206-6415.

Elisa Bocanegra is a Puerto Rican artist and the founder of HERO Theatre. Her work with HERO Theatre has been featured in The Los Angeles Times and American Theatre Magazine and is a favorite amongst local theatre critics. Elisa is a 2022-2023 Fulbright Award recipient. She also won the TCG Leadership U Grant, the nation's largest grant of its kind, for her work with HERO Theatre. This provided her the opportunity to be part of the Leadership Team at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. Her stage directing credits include TROY, a modern retelling of THE TROJAN WOMEN about women and houselessness in Los Angeles. She directed TROY and worked alongside Kilroy List playwright Amina Henry in the development. Other directing credits include Festival Irene: A Tribute to Cuban Playwright Maria Irene Fornés, The Floating Island Plays by Eduardo Machado, and a new screen and stage project called Nuestro Planeta, which focuses on educating Latine audiences about environmental justice within the Americas. Elisa is mentored by Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She graduated with an MFA from Cullors' Social & Environmental Arts Program for activists at Prescott College. Elisa was part of the inaugural NEXUS Cohort at New York Stage and Film and later received the Pfaelzer Award. As an actor, her first film, GIRLFIGHT, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at The Sundance Film Festival. She recurs on Season 2 of Peacock TV's Based On A True Story. Other credits include Apple TV's Physical starring Rose Byrne and Netflix's Christmas With You. She has extensive experience performing at major theaters around the country in addition to The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, an Equity actor, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana's play Ghosts of Bogotá won the Nu Voices Festival at The Actors Theatre of Charlotte in 2019. Ghosts was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in Feb 2020. Sapience was a Playground-SF 2020, Winner and was featured at Latinx Theatre Festival, San Diego Rep 2020. Fabulous Monsters, a Kilroys selection will premiere at The Public Theatre of San Antonio, featuring the music of FEA in 2023. Diana was in Center Theatre Group's 2018-19 Writers Workshop cohort and was in Geffen's Writers Lab in 20-21. She has worked on projects with South Coast Repertory, Artists Repertory Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble and Center Theatre Group, and Livermore Shakespeare Festival. As an actor, Diana recently played Amalia in Jose Cruz Gonzales' American Mariachi at South Coast Repertory and Arizona Theatre Company, and Marisela in La Ruta at Artists Repertory. You can also see her as Viv the Punk in the cult musical Isle of Lesbos. She is the current Dramatists Guild Rep for Southern California. www.dianaburbano.com

HERO Theatre is a community-based company that uses art to model and bring about social and environmental justice. They invite audiences to envision and experience America as they do. HERO examines classical and contemporary works, ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion remain at the forefront.


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