Press Release: Festival of Latino Play Readings Comes to CUNY Graduate Center

This year, for the first time, the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre will present its acclaimed annual Festival of New Play Readings in association with the CUNY Graduate Center's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. The free public readings will begin Tuesday, May 13th and then continue on Mondays and Tuesdays until ending on Monday, June 30th. Programs begin at 7 pm and will be presented in the Martin E. Segal Theatre at The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Seating, which is limited, is on a first-come, first-served basis. After each play there will be a short discussion with a guest moderator. The complete schedule is as follows.

Tuesday, May 13th at 7:00 PM
WHAT'S FUNNY IN GREENWICH by Jay Vásquez
Why did Gustav buy this house?

Monday, May 19th at 7:00 PM
THE PSYCHIATRIST by Fred Valle
Crazy??

Tuesday, May 20th at 7:00 PM
TWISTER WITH AN OCTOPUS by Ben-Hur Carmona
Porno actors experience 9/11 ... a deeply felt human drama.

Monday, June 2nd at 7:00 PM
POWER HOUSE by Fred Crecca
A dying world-famous Cardinal confronts his life of questionable actions with a long- dead Pope.

Tuesday, June 3rd at 7:00PM
CONFESSIONS OF A P.K. by Henry Guzmán
The darkly comic journey of a Preacher's son who dreams of taking a leap out of faith.

Monday, June 9th at 7:00 PM
THE COURTSHIP OF DIDEROT by María Elena Torres
Budding philosopher meets girl; budding philosopher loses girl; budding philosopher should think seriously about getting girl.

Tuesday, June 10th at 7:00 PM
GONE FISHIN' - WON'T BE BACK by Harding Robert de los Reyes
Love - marriage - adultery - lap dancing.

Monday, June 16th at 7:00 PM
SIN PARADISE by George Joshua
The battle for a desperate man's soul.

Tuesday, June 17th at 7:00 PM
WELCOME TO MARGARET'S WORLD by Oscar A. Colón
The End of the World.

Monday June 23rd at 7:00 PM
A SIMPLE GIFT by T. Cat Ford
A vagrant Appalachian girl wanders into a 19th-century Shaker community in search of the devil, and finds a people who believe heaven exists now on earth.

Tuesday, June 24th at 7:00 PM
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME by Noemi Martínez
Soldier leaves his dysfunctional family to go off to the Gulf War.

Monday, June 30th at 7:00 PM
LATE BLOOMING ROSES by Allen Davis III
A favored daughter returns home bursting with great new ideas (but the same old problems).

The Festival of New Play Readings is presented by the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre's Professional Playwrights Unit, which was formed in 1977 as a play development laboratory for professional playwrights with an emphasis on Latino writers. The project guides plays from early drafts to a performable version. They are then presented in the festival so that the plays can be seen by theater professionals and further progress to a full theatrical production. Miram Colón Valle is the founding artistic director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Company and Allen Davis III is the director of the Playwright Unit. The Playwrights Unit and Play Reading Series are sponsored in part by The John Golden Fund, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Shubert Foundation.

Originally founded at The Graduate Center in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center was renamed in 2000 to recognize one of New York City's outstanding leaders of the arts. At the same time, the multi-purpose, 70-seat, performing space in The Graduate Center's new home in the former B. Altman department store was named the Martin E. Segal Theatre.

The theater center is dedicated to developing educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts, working with theater scholars, students, playwrights, actors, dancers, directors, dramaturgs, and performing arts managers. The theater center also publishes academic journals, as well as single volumes, including plays in translation. The Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at The Graduate Center is also co-sponsoring the presentation of the festival.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, The Graduate Center draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City.

Established in 1961, The Graduate Center has grown to an enrollment of about 3,800 students in 31 doctoral programs and six master's degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. The Graduate Center also houses 28 research centers and institutes, administers the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, and offers a wide range of continuing education and cultural programs of interest to the general public.

According to a recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions, nearly a quarter are among the top ten when compared to publicly supported institutions alone, and more than half are among the top five programs at publicly supported institutions in the northeast.

Submitted on: MAR 1, 2003

Category: Events, Press Room