BUILDING THE WALL By Pulitzer Prize & Tony Winner Robert Schenkkan to Debut in NYC
After sold out runs in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Spain (where it won the Audience Award at the Miteu International Theater Festival), Teatro Espressivo's critically acclaimed production of BUILDING THE WALL by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge) arrives in the US. Performances begin February 27 at Teatro LATEA @ The Clemente in Lower Manhattan. Presented in Spanish with English subtitles, this translation by Gerardo Bolaños G. is directed by Natalia Mariño, winner of Costa Rica's prestigious Premio Nacional a Mejor Dirección de Teatro.
BUILDING THE WALL is set in the not-too-distant future. The mass round-up of millions of undocumented immigrants has led to overflowing private prisons and camps reminiscent of another century. The former warden for one facility, Rick, is awaiting sentencing for what happened under his watch. In a riveting interview with Gloria, a historian who has come seeking the truth, he gradually reveals how the unthinkable became the inevitable. The play exposes the effects of hatred against immigrants from Central America that flee from violence and poverty. What they encounter across the border is a dystopic panorama, the effects of which might be more real than the public cares to accept.
"A wonderful production... [I'm] so impressed by the passion and technical brilliance of the production," noted Robert Schenkkan. Director Natalia Mariño has added a third character to what is normally a two-hander as well as video elements.
This co-production with Teatro LATEA comes about thanks to a previous relationship between Espressivo and Nelson Landrieu (1949 - 2019), the visionary Uruguayan actor/director co-founder of LATEA and The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center. The cast is led by Magdalena Morales, the distinguished Guatemalan actress, director and cultural researcher, best known for her involvement in Guatemalan/Maya theater movements. Her stage partner is the Costa Rican actor and producer Antonio Rojas. Joining them with a haunting musical composition is Ramón Mejía "Perrozompopo", the Nicaraguan singer/songwriter.
Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer-prize winning, Tony Award winning, Writer's Guild Award winning, three-time Emmy nominated writer of stage, television, and film. He is the author of fourteen original full-length plays (including The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, and The Great Society), two musicals, and a collection of one-act plays. He co-wrote the feature film, Hacksaw Ridge (six Academy Award nominations) and The Quiet American, and his television credits include: All The Way, The Pacific, The Andromeda Strain, and Spartacus.
Teatro Espressivo was founded in Costa Rica in 1989 with a mission to impact diverse audiences through art. It produces theatrical productions and film festivals throughout the year, not only in their state-of-the-art 260-seat theater but in other traditional and non- traditional theater spaces. They have also produced work in countries including El Salvador, Spain, and Peru. Recently, Espressivo won the prestigious National Cultural Management Award 2019 for its social impact, championing Costa Rican heritage and fostering public partnerships in culture.
BUILDING THE WALL runs February 27 to March 15 at Teatro LATEA @ The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street in Lower Manhattan. Performances are Thursday - Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm. Running time is 80 minutes. Tickets can be bought online at www.teatrolatea.org for $20 (general public) and $15 (students/seniors) or at the door for $25 (general public) and $15 (students/seniors). For more information call 212-529-1948.