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At Goodman Theatre, March 26 – April 24, 2011 Cecilie Kennan directs this World-Premiere Teatro Vista Production with a cast of six Chicago actors


Chicago, IL – Goodman Theatre announces casting for the world-premiere production of El Nogalar by playwright Tanya Saracho, “one of Chicago[’s] most talented young writers” (Chicago Tribune). Director Cecilie Keenan stages the production, presented by the Goodman and commissioned by Teatro Vista. A heartrending tale of family, home and displacement in contemporary Mexico, the ensemble cast of six Chicago actors includes Charin Alvarez (Electricidad; Dollhouse) as Maite, whose family has owned the titular “pecan orchard” for generations; portraying Maite’s daughters are Sandra Delgado (Mariela in the Desert; The House on Mango Street) as Valeria and Christina Nieves (The Sins of Sor Juana; Esperanza Rising) as Anita; Carlo Lorenzo Garcia (Cherrywood: The Modern Comparable; St. Crispin’s Day) is Lopez, the family’s longtime friend; Yun Pardo (Erendira; Mala Hierba) is the family’s housekeeper, Dunia; and Bert Matias (Seven Snakes; disOriented) portrays the Old Man. El Nogalar runs March 26 – April 24, 2011 in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre; tickets are $10 – $42. Photos and bio information for these artists are available in the Goodman Theatre Press Room. The Scenemakers Board is the Contributing Sponsor for El Nogalar. Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives is provided by The Joyce Foundation.

In El Nogalar, Maite and her daughters can’t stand the idea of losing their family’s home and beloved orchard to developers—but their time and money are running out. Despite warnings from her family and friends, Maite ignores her declining fortune as ardently as she has ignored the social consequences of the Mexican Revolution. Set in present-day Northern Mexico and sprinkled with Spanish, Spanglish and Espanglés, El Nogalar (Pecan Orchard) is a comical and moving story about the choice between adapting to the changing world and getting left behind.

Tickets to El Nogalar ($10 – $42) are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org.Tickets and subscriptions can also be purchased at the box office (170 North Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone; a valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets; limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820. Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at GoodmanTheatre.org. The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allows recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.

Playwright Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and is a resident playwright emeritus at Chicago Dramatists, a current resident playwright at Teatro Vista, a Goodman Theatre Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, an artistic associate with About Face Theatre, the founder of The Ñ Series and founder and former artistic director of Teatro Luna. She has been the lead artist in many of Teatro Luna’s ensemble-devised works, including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, Solo Latinas, Solo Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and Lunatic(a)s. Her plays include an adaptation of The House on Mango Street at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (2009); Our Lady of the Underpass with Teatro Vista, commissioned by the Goodman (2009); Surface Day at Steppenwolf/Chicago Humanities Festival (2008); Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy at Teatro Luna (2008); Kita y Fernanda at 16th Street Theatre (2008) and Quita Mitos with Teatro Luna (2006) and coming to NextTheatre Company in March 2011. Saracho is a recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished New Play Development project grant, and the winner of the Goodman’s Ofner Prize, a 3Arts Artists Award, named Best New Playwright of 2010 by Chicago magazine, named one of nine Latino Luminaries by Café magazine and a recipient of the inaugural Revolucionario Award given by the National Museum of Mexican Art. Upcoming projects include The Good Private for About Face Theatre and two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation commissions for Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Her directing/co-directing credits include Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy; Solo Tú; S-E-X-Oh!; both productions of Lunatic(a)s; the remount of Generic Latina; The Maria Chronicles; and Solo Latinas. Saracho is also a Chicago-based actress, and her stage credits include Neil Labute’s Fat Pig at Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee; Migdalia Cruz’s Another Part of the House at Teatro Vista; Living Out at American Theater Company and Teatro Vista; Electricidad at Goodman Theatre and La casa de Bernarda Alba at Aguijón Theatre. Her voice can be heard around the country in radio and television commercials.

Director Cecilie Keenan is Resident Director and Producing Director for Teatro Vista. Along with Artistic Director Edward Torres, she has been instrumental in Teatro Vista’s growth for the last seven years, and involved in the company’s recent productions of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Our Lady of the Underpass. Keenan’s directing credits for Teatro Vista include The Messenger, El Nogalar, Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House and Living Out. She has been active as a freelance director and producer in the Chicago theater community for more than twenty years, was a company member with American Blues Theater, and has held staff positions with several Chicago theaters including Artistic Director of Bailiwick Repertory, Producing Director at Apple Tree Theater and Assistant Artistic Director for Northlight Theatre. Her most recent directing credits include the Jeff Award-winning Tobacco Road for American Blues Theater, Joel Drake Johnson’s The End of the Tour at 16th Street Theater and the highly-acclaimed The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow for Collaboraction.

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