The Harlem Hellfighters’ extraordinary valor and musicianship made the 369th Infantry the most celebrated regiment of the First World War era. A motley and multicolor crew, they tumble on stage with a marvelous ruckus of ragtime jazz, military bugle calls, and Latin rhythm trailing behind them. Among them are legends James Reese Europe and Rafael Hernández—two musical giants of the 20th century—always eager to relive the adventures that brought them together in the fabled summer of 1917.
Harlem Hellfighters on a Latin Beat is inspired by the 16 Puerto Rican musicians recruited to join the famously all-Black regiment as the U.S. prepared to enter World War I. Created by members of Pregones Theater and first produced by the company in 2010, this musical tells the story of the Harlem Hellfighters pieced together by the ghosts of Black and Puerto Rican men long gone but not forgotten.
Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT)Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (aka Pregones/PRTT) is a multigenerational performing ensemble and multidiscipline arts presenter operating with venues in the South Bronx and Manhattan’s theater district. Its mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences.
Leadership support for The Refocus Project is generously provided by the Ford Foundation.
Additional funding provided by R. Martin Chavez and by Bank of America.
The Refocus Project is made possible by the Champions for Inclusive Theatre and Roundabout’s Forward Fund. We acknowledge the generous friends who support our many efforts to increase representation and inclusion in all aspects of theatre: Elizabeth Armstrong, Bank of America, R. Martin Chavez, Herbert W. Engert Jr. and Timothy Miller, EY, the Ford Foundation, Kenny Leon, Beryl Snyder and Charles Randolph-Wright.
Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
304 W 47th St.
New York, NY 10036