We will present three benefit performances, in association with Adventure Stage Chicago, of our critically acclaimed box-office smash production of Carmen Rivera’s La Gringa, during Three Kings (Reyes Magos) Weekend. All proceeds raised will benefit Puerto Rico’s Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño (School of Fine Arts and Design), in Old San Juan. The School was hit hard by Hurricane María: it lost most of its archives, book and art collections, its offices were flooded and classrooms destroyed. The total cost of damages has been estimated at one million dollars and the school could potentially lose students as many begin to seek transfer to the United States to complete their studies. The Chicago theater community has stepped up to contribute to the cause. The League of Chicago Theaters has committed to providing stipends for the play’s cast and crew and the Goodman and Steppenwolf Theatres are helping to cover rental expenses. Our goal is to raise a sum total of $30,000.
CHICAGO READER – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
“…With joy in its heart, Miranda Gonzalez’s UrbanTheater Company production reflects on what it means to feel a connection to a culture…” —Dan Jakes
WINDY CITY TIMES – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
“…this Urban Theatre Company production ( performed in English, with occasional asides in Spanish ) remains always faithful to its cultural demographic, while appealing to audiences of all ethnicities.” —Mary Shen Barnidge
AROUND THE TOWN CHICAGO – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
“… I love the work that many of our smaller, “storefront theater companies” do! One of the more unfamiliar companies, at least to the general theater audience, is UrbanTheater Company, where they bring powerful stories, with a Latin twist to the Humboldt Park neighborhood…” – Alan Bresloff
NEWCITY CHICAGO – RECOMMENDED
“…This production is raw and honest. It will hit home for anyone who’s desired to know which cultural identity they should choose: their birth or their ancestry. The answer is, as Rivera tells us, you don’t have to.” —Loy Webb
La Gringa centers on María Elena Garcia who travels to Puerto Rico to visit her extended family during the Christmas holidays. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has grown up with an intense love for the island and even majored in Puerto Rican Studies in college. Upon her arrival, however, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American–a gringa—and María considers this a betrayal: If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico, María concludes, then this makes her a nobody everywhere. Her journey to come to terms with who she is leads María into misperceptions and misadventures. But will an unlikely ally help her find her way to the other side?
Carmen Rivera (Playwright) is an Obie Award-winning playwright whose other Off-Broadway productions include La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny (2002 ACE Award – Best Production); Julia de Burgos: Child of Water; To Catch the Lightning (1997 Nomination ACE Award – Best Production); The Next Stop (INTAR / Repertorio Español); and Under the Mango Tree (INTAR). She also co-wrote, with Cándido Tirado, Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz, (HOLA Award 2008, Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting), which played Off-Broadway at New World Stages and toured Florida, Chicago, Tenerife, Canary Islands and Puerto Rico. Twelve of her other works have been produced at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Teatro Circulo; SOHO Rep; Nuyorican Poet’s Café; National Public Radio (NPR); UrbanTheater Company in Chicago and many other theaters. She holds an MA in Playwriting and Latin American Theatre from New York University. Read More
Miranda Gonzalez (Director/UTC Artistic Director) was a founding ensemble member of Chicago’s Only All-Latina Theater company Teatro Luna and has devised and developed plays since 2000. After performing as an actress for 10 years she decided to turn her artistic endeavors towards directing. Previous directing and development credits include: La Gringa, GL 2010, Of Princes and Princessas at the 2010 Goodman Latino Theatre Festival; 10×10 Festival, Lullaby, The North/South Plays workshop at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; Crossed, Crime Scene Chicago with Collaboraction; and Melissa DuPrey’s Sushi-Frito at Free Street Theater.
Rebuild – $75 (includes pre-show reception and cast meet & greet)
Relief – $27 General Admisison
Pre-Show Reception begins at 6:30pm.
Performance Venue – Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St.
Box Office – (773) 342-4141