The Refocus Project aims to transform
the American theatre canon.
By María Irene Fornés
Directed by Rebecca Aparicio
Following a betrayal by her crush Julio, 13-year-old Sarita Fernandez quickly learns how fickle love can be. Her teenage years are marked by men coming and going from her life, an early pregnancy, and a volatile love affair with Julio that continues into adulthood. Eventually, Sarita’s attempts to find personal agency in these relationships manifest in brutal ways, with far-reaching consequences for herself and her loved ones.
By René Marqués
Directed by Cristina Angeles
In 1950s Puerto Rico, matriarch Doña Gabriela and her children await the fateful oxcart that will take them from their mountain home to a new life in San Juan. Young Chaguito despairs to leave behind his favorite rooster and daughter Juanita dreads saying goodbye to those she loves, while eldest son Luis dreams of limitless horizons and the mechanized industries of the future.
EL CORRIDO DE CALIFORNIA
By Fausto Avendaño
Directed by Galia Backal
California, 1846. Don Gerónimo Segura, a Mexican rancher and mayor of the village of Santa Bárbara, welcomes his son Rafael home after five years of military service in Mexico City. Rafael, however, comes bearing news–the United States, the neighboring country his father so deeply admires, has begun a hostile takeover of California. In the ensuing conflict, Don Gerónimo and the citizens of Santa Bárbara are forced to choose between their honor and keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.
HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS ON A LATIN BEAT
Book, Lyrics, and Directed by Rosalba Rolón
Compositions by Desmar Guevara, James Reese Europe, and Rafael Hernández
Arrangements by Desmar Guevara
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.
Direct from The Refocus Project, Pregones/PRTT's production of Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat will run October 6-23 (The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, 304 W. 47th Street, New York, NY 10036).
The works deemed to be “classic” plays have long been defined too narrowly and by too few. If we’re to have an equitable theatre, we must look to the past and shine a spotlight on the plays and playwrights that were left behind by history, not because of their merits but because of their identities.
As a theatre company with a legacy of producing revivals, we realize we need to tell a more complete story and ensure we are an active part of the solution, not an ongoing part of the problem.
The second year of The Refocus Project spotlights Latinx playwrights from the 20th and 21st centuries, including René Marqués, Fausto Avendaño, María Irene Fornés, Rosalba Rolón, and Desmar Guevara, in partnership with Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (PRTT). This year’s plays have been selected in partnership with Pregones/PRTT and will be workshopped and performed in a reading series this summer in Roundabout and Pregones/PRTT spaces, featuring on stage and behind-the-scenes artists from both theatres.
We encourage you to get to know these works and join us in redefining them as the American classics they truly are.
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.
Refocus Project Panel Discussion
Moderated by Alexi Chacon, Managing Director of Token Theatre Friends
Panelists: The Refocus Project 2022 Directors
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Additional funding provided by Eugene and Joann Bissell and the Lillian Lincoln Foundation, and R. Martin Chavez.
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: Eugene and Joann Bissell and the Lillian Lincoln Foundation, Elizabeth Armstrong, R. Martin Chavez, Herbert W. Engert Jr. and Timothy Miller, EY, the Ford Foundation, Kenny Leon, Gina Maria Leonetti, Beryl Snyder, and Charles Randolph-Wright.