The world-premiere production of Pedro Páramo, one of the most culturally-significant magical realism tales of Latin American literature, heads into its final stage of development prior to its March 22-31 limited engagement in Goodman Theatre's Latino Theatre Festival. Festival curator Henry Godinez recently spent three weeks in rehearsals in Cuba working with Director Flora Lautén and Raquel Carrió on her stage adaptation of Juan Rulfo's 1955 novel. Music in the production features Chicago's Grammy-nominated Sones de Mexico. Pedro Páramo runs March 22 - 31, 2013 in the Owen Theatre. Opening night is Sunday, March 24 at 7:30pm.
Tickets ($14 - $32; subject to change) are on sale now and are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/LatinoTheatreFestival, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Pedro Páramo is presented in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and is performed in Spanish with English subtitles.
"Pedro Páramo is an artistic triumph for the Goodman and Teatro Buendía-an unprecedented partnership that forges an important cultural bond between the U.S. and Cuba," says Godinez, Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate who appears in the title role of the piece. "We are honored to unveil on American soil this unique theatrical premiere with its blended cast of Cuban and Chicago actors in our 2013 Latino Theatre Fest."
The cast for Pedro Páramo includes Chicago-based actors Charin Alvarez (Susana San Juan), Steve Casillas (Miguel Páramo/Donis), Laura Crotte (Eduviges), Sandra Delgado (Anita/Eva) and Henry Godinez (Pedro Páramo). The Cuban actors are Dania Aguerreberez (Angeles/Dona Fausta), Alejandro Alfonzo (El Padre Renteria), Ivanesa Cabrera (Dolores), Carlos Cruz (Abundio/Fulgor), Arnaldo Galbán Rivero (Juan Preciado) and Indira Valdes (Damiana). The musicians are Jomary Hechavarria (from Cuba), and Victor Pichardo (composer) and Zacbe Pichardo from Sones de Mexico.
Cuba's most celebrated theater company, Teatro Buendía made their Chicago debut with two productions in a sold-out limited engagement in the Goodman's 2010 Latino Theatre Festival. The presentations-La Visita de la Vieja Dama and Charenton-earned unanimous critical praise, hailed as "fascinating" (Chicago Tribune) and "spellbinding and enigmatic" (Time Out Chicago).
"It's thrilling to welcome back the always revolutionary Teatro Buendía, and to present a piece that is both so universally recognized in the Latin American world and immediately relevant to both of our countries," says Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. "Henry has made this artistic dream between our two theater companies-and between our two countries-a reality."
Pedro Páramo follows a son who returns home to meet his father and reveals how one man's unchecked appetite destroys both everything he loves and the town that made him great. Pedro Páramo was co-commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Goodman Theatre and developed in association with Northwestern University's Theatre and Interpretation Center. The collaborative process began in February 2012 with a workshop in Cuba with Teatro Buendía; later that spring, the text was further workshopped with the playwright and directors at Northwestern, followed by a presentation at the MCA. Godinez's recent December 2012 trip to Cuba was sponsored by a MacArthur Grant given to the MCA, which allowed professional American and Cuban actors to work towards a major American regional theater premiere for the first time. Development of Pedro Páramo was supported in part by the International Connections Fund of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Performing Americas Program of the National Performance Network.