Actor/Playwright Rafael Moreno's FOTOS to Return to the Producer's Club

Actor/Playwright Rafael Moreno's FOTOS to Return to the Producer's Club

The year 2018 is already promising to be a significant one for actor and playwright Rafael Moreno.

The South Bronx native, born to biracial parents in the Dominican Republic, enjoyed his first taste of Off-Broadway success earlier this year with the world premiere of his first play Fotos, which enjoyed a well received run at the Producer's Club in Manhattan last June.

The play, written by Moreno and directed by Audelco Award-winning helmer Larry Floyd, also features Moreno in the cast and will return to the Producer's Club by popular demand early in 2018.

With the success of Fotos, Moreno now finds himself following in the footsteps of fellow latino playwrights including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Nilo Cruz, carving a niche for himself as a new force for theatrical cultural diversity, creating three dimensional roles for fellow latinos and other actors of color.

For Moreno, who also produced the piece through his own production entity, Construct Theater Company, the mounting of Fotos was the next logical step on a journey he embarked on years ago when he started the company in 2009.

"I founded Construct with the mission to write, direct, and produce original works that tell the kinds of stories that continue to elude the main stage, especially those concerning culturally diverse communities," he says. "The whole idea has always been to introduce a new and emerging audience to the theater, by creating a platform where their voices and concerns are being echoed."

Moreno's decision to found Construct came on the heels of his own forays into various aspects of the entertainment industry, where he observed that opportunities and good material for minorities like himself were still too few and far between.

After studying Theater and Marketing at Stony Brook University, he was accepted into the HB Studios Intensive Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, and studied under the likes of actor and director Austin Pendleton.

A stint of several years in Los Angeles followed, modeling and working in production capacities with Sony, Warner Brothers and CBS, while concurrently working on his own theatre projects.

"What l learned in those years was pretty invaluable...That if I wanted to see more stories with people like myself - about people like myself - presented on stage and screen, I was going to have to do it myself. It's not that things aren't getting better than how they were before - they're just not getting better fast enough. Construct was my way of fast tracking my own artistic development, as well as creating opportunities for other actor - writers like me to have their voices be heard."

The company and its founding ensemble members blended their writing, acting and performing talents, eventually producing a series of monologue poetry "SLAMS" that enjoyed great success. This subsequently led to other ventures including the company's Thawed Out One Act Festival and most recently, the production of its first full length play, Fotos.

The drama focuses on a family of latino men - a father and three sons- lead by a patriarch who fled the Dominican Republic to escape racial prejudice and injustice, and who now live in a state of blissful denial of family secrets that could tear them apart.

According to Moreno, "It's exactly the type of play that not many producers in New York might want to produce- and that's exactly why it needed to be done. It embodies everything about the kind of storytelling Construct is all about. And quite frankly I can't wait to see how our new audiences in 2018 will receive it."

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