Rafael Moreno's FOTOS Offers Different Look at Masculinity in The 'Me Too' Era

Rafael Moreno's FOTOS Offers Different Look at Masculinity in The 'Me Too' Era

Rafael Moreno's family drama Fotos, which re-opened at The Producers Club on Thursday February 8 after a successful run at the same venue last summer, is offering New York audiences a different look at masculinity in the era of the growing " Me Too" movement.

The play is an intense examination of the explosive effect on an all male family - a father and his three sons- when one of the three comes forward to reveal a shattering secret of past abuse.

The fact that the family happens to be Latino American, with roots in the Dominican Republic - a culture that celebrates masculine strength and virility to a remarkably high degree- raises the stakes significantly.

Playwright Moreno, himself born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx, developed the script around one character- the play's patriarch Don Alberto - after he created a monologue for him while working on another piece several years ago.

"I was actually working on another play," Moreno recalls, "And I was basically writing freehand, just letting these monologues flow as I wrote, and this one character Don Alberto and this one monologue just stayed with me. The character was pretty much an amalgamation of several men I've known in my own life- and in the monologue, he really emphasizes the importance of culture, of being a man and of taking care of the family- mi familia-which in our culture is the center of everything. I just found him so interesting that I scrapped the other play and decided to create a story about this guy and Fotos is what emerged."

In Fotos Don Alberto (Victor Arnez) has fled the Dominican Republic to escape racial prejudice and injustice, to raise his family in America. But he fails to realize until it is almost too late that he and his three sons ( Sean Moran, Sebastian Ruiz and playwright Moreno) are collectively caught in a cycle of broken dreams and unspoken pain, due to the life altering secret of what happened to one of his boys .

Fotos was the recipient of The Negro Ensemble Company's Emerging Playwrights Award and received a standing room only staged reading at The Signature Theater in 2016. It was the overwhelming response to the staged reading that motivated Moreno to mount a full production last year.

"What the response to the reading revealed to me was that in my culture, there are still so many taboo subjects that we don't speak about," Moreno says. "The abuse of women and girls is finally, thankfully, getting the attention it deserves. But the same things are happening to our men too, and that isn't spoken about nearly as much. The timing of Fotos here and now couldn't be more significant in light of the "Me Too" movement, and I'm hoping the play will serve as a catalyst to bring those issues to the fore as well and spark a much needed discussion about the men and boys who suffer in shame and silence for so many years."

Fotos is directed by Audelco Award winner Lawrence Floyd (Flambeaux). Dramaturg is Janel C. Scarborough (Welcome to America- A Caribbean Musical).

Fotos will play Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 6pm until March 4.

The Producers Club is located at 358 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.

See also: - www.ConstructTheatre.com

PHOTO- Sean Moran and Rafael Moreno in 'Fotos.'

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