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Teatro Buendia’s Pedro Paramo to Appear at the Encuentro Festival in Canada (June 21-28); The White Snake to Appear at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China (November 7-9)

CHICAGO, IL – Goodman Theatre proudly announces that two of its productions will have a life beyond US borders in 2014. Pedro Páramo, a collaboration with Cuba’s Teatro Buendía that premiered at the Goodman in 2013, is one of three major Latin American works invited to perform at the 9th biennial Encuentro Festival (June 21-28)—a celebration and symposium on performance throughout the Americas, held this year in Montréal, Québec. In addition, Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman’s production of The White Snake (on stage through Sunday, June 8 at the Goodman) will appear in China as part of the 2nd annual Wuzhen Theatre Festival (November 7-9), a mix of international and Chinese theater in the ancient water town of Wuzhen, near Shanghai.

“The Goodman continues to make international contributions as it participates in festivals in Canada and China this year,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Congratulations to all involved with Pedro Páramo and The White Snake. Chicago is a cultural capital, and now the world will enjoy the rich and vibrant talent from our very own Goodman Theatre.”

Said Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls,“We are proud and excited to introduce international audiences to Mary Zimmerman and Henry Godinez, two artists of our distinguished Artistic Collective, through these important productions. Both of these works are rooted in two of the most significant stories in their respective cultures, and each bears the unique aesthetic of its creator. It’s extremely special to be invited to participate in these prestigious world festivals.”

CHINA’S WUZHEN THEATRE FESTIVAL

Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman’s “unique theatrical language is more powerful than ever” (Chicago Reader) in The White Snake, commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where it premiered in February 2012 followed by runs at Berkeley Repertory (November 2012), McCarter Theatre Center, NJ (October 2013) and the Goodman (May/June 2014).

Stan Lai, Artistic Director of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, commented, “We greatly anticipate the performances of the Goodman Theatre’s The White Snake, written and directed by the eminent US director Mary Zimmerman, at the Wuzhen Theatre. Already the production is gathering interest in China as an American take on a timeless Chinese folk tale that coincidentally comes from the Wuzhen area. As the closing performance of this year’s Festival, The White Snake will form a fascinating bookend to Tian Qinxing’s Green Snake, a play based on the same folklore, which will open the Festival. We are excited at this collaboration, and give thanks to the Goodman, which has been such a wonderful collaborator, for this opportunity to bring such a major work of the American theater to China. We also thank Bill Rauch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where The White Snake originated, for originating the possibilities of the collaboration. We look forward to a rich and multi-leveled cross-cultural experience in Wuzhen this fall.”

Added Mary Zimmerman, “It is a great honor and a personal dream to have our version of this time-honored tale embraced by the artists and producers of the Wuzhen Festival. The White Snake is a dreamy story of union and reunion, and it seems fitting that we will now all join hands together in China, across so much time and distance, and across barriers of language and sometimes politics, to retell this tale of a universal longing towards boundless love.”

THE ENCUENTRO FESTIVAL

Actor/director Henry Godinez, Resident Artistic Associate and curator of the Goodman’s ongoing Latino Theatre Fest, appears in the title role of Pedro Páramo. Adapted from Juan Rulfo’s 1955 novel by Director Flora Lauten and Raquel Carrío, the production features a cast of Cuban and Chicago actors.

“We’re thrilled to reunite with our Teatro Buendía colleagues and to continue to develop this groundbreaking production at the Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro Festival, which investigates and celebrates performance practices throughout the Western Hemisphere,” said Godinez. “The ‘Hemi’s’ inclusion of Teatro Buendía of Cuba/Goodman Theatre’s co-production of Pedro Páramo demonstrates the significance of this international collaboration, and illustrates the potential of cultural exchange as a catalyst for change.”

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