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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lineup set for Two River Theater’s 7th annual Crossing Borders festival of new plays

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Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the lineup for its 7th annual Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) festival of new plays by Latino writers. Since it launched in 2011, the annual five-day festival has featured free readings of more than two dozen plays, including many that have gone on to full productions at Two River and around the country. Crossing Borders is sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) will take place August 2-6, 2017 and will kick off with a free outdoor neighborhood party with food and live music performed by David Oquendo. The party will be followed by a keynote address given by Jacob G. Padrón, the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sol Project, New York City-based theater initiative dedicated to producing works by Latinx playwrights.

Works to be read at the festival include plays by Benjamin Benne, Raul Garza, and Charise Castro Smith. Conversations with artists will follow every reading. This year, Two River is expanding the festival to include its first musical, The Golem of Havana, with music by Salomon Lerner, lyrics by Len Schiff, and book and direction by Michel Hausmann; and its first play for young people, Blancaflor, a bilingual adaptation of a traditional fairytale, written by Cecilia Cackley and translated by Ártemis López.

Crossing Borders is curated by Stephanie Ybarra, who currently serves as the Director of Special Artistic Projects at The Public Theater in New York, where she leads the Mobile Shakespeare Unit and produces the Public Forum series.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AND READINGS

Unless otherwise noted, all readings and events will take place in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, followed by an opportunity to meet the festival artists in the theater’s Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library.

Reservations are encouraged; patrons should contact the Two River Theater Box Office at 732.345.1400 or visit tworivertheater.org.

Wednesday, August 2 beginning at 5:30pm

Neighborhood Party on the Two River Plaza Followed by a Lecture on The Sol Project and Latinx Theater by Jacob G. Padrón


Beginning at 5:30pm, Two River will kick off Crossing Borders with an outdoor neighborhood party on the Two River Plaza, with opportunities to meet the artists involved in the festival, food, and live music. At 7pm, Jacob G. Padrón, the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sol Project, will discuss the rising generation of Latinx artists and where Latinx theater is headed.
Thursday, August 3 at 7:30 pm
EL

By Raul Garza
Directed by Michelle Bossy

Emi and Gus are siblings living with their mother in Chicago. Emi is writing a novel about her family, but her desire to tell a good story means she risks exposing their long-buried secrets. Gus is working in a butcher shop with only the wisecracking cow head to talk to, eager to get out. Each of them is caught between the past and the future in this funny, moving new play about how telling your story isn’t always telling your truth.

Friday, August 4 at 7:30 pm

AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF A BODY OF WATER

By Benjamin Benne

Marina has led a reclusive existence with only her daughter’s ghost to keep her company. But when her ritual meal of catfish soup is disrupted by the disappearance of her fishmonger, she can no longer swim in the routine circles of her solitary life. She embarks on a search for connection that takes her into surreal territory where paper cranes take flight, the sky and sea are inverted, and travel to the ocean floor is possible.

Saturday, August 5 at 12 noon

BLANCAFLOR

By Cecilia Cackley

Translated into Spanish by Ártemis López

The Crossing Border festival’s first play for young audiences, Blancaflor is a charming new adaptation of a traditional Spanish and Latin American fairytale. In it, a prince must embark on a quest to save the life of his father. Faced with one impossible task after another, he is sure of failure until a mysterious woman, Blancaflor, appears to offer help. Will he and Blancaflor win the day?

Saturday, August 5 at 7:30 pm

EL HURACÁN

By Charise Castro Smith

Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

In 1992 Miami, while a family rushes to secure itself against the oncoming Hurricane Andrew, its matriarch finds herself trapped within memories that threaten to carry her out into the rain. Thirty years later, as Miami grapples with rising tides, the family again finds themselves swept together for a final chance at reconciliation. A modern-day nod to The Tempest, Charise Castro Smith’s new play touches upon magic, exile, and the storms that rage within families.

Sunday, August 6 at 3 pm
THE GOLEM OF HAVANA: A NEW MUSICAL
Music by Salomon Lerner
Lyrics by Len Schiff
Book and Direction by Michel Hausmann

The Golem of Havana tells the story of a Hungarian-Jewish family living in Batista’s Havana on the brink of the Cuban Revolution. When their maid’s son, a guerrilla fighter, is injured, they must choose between protecting him and guarding their first fragile grasp on prosperity since their arrival. The Golem of Havana weaves together the music and traditions of two worlds, asking questions about family, community, religion, and politics.

Schedule subject to change.

SPONSORSHIP

Crossing Borders is sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation,  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Investors Foundation, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

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Since its founding in 1994, Two River Theater has been committed to creating great American theater by developing and producing work by some of the country’s leading artists. We are proud to be viewed as a vital cultural resource in the community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Through 10 theatrical productions each year (including world premieres, musicals, classics and theater for young audiences) and 50+ annual events happening around Monmouth County, we produce exceptional theater and cultivate engaged audiences. Two River celebrates and honors our core values of Artistic Excellence; Education and Community Engagement; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Operational Excellence. Two River Theater is under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst.

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