Cuba’s Teatro Buendia makes their U.S. debut at Goodman Theatre

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“Fabuloso Fridays”—JULY 9 & 16—feature post-show specialty cocktails, dancing to DJ Miles Beyond and stories by Seprendipity Theatre Collective’s 2nd story


(Chicago, IL) Goodman Theatre audiences will be the first in the United States to witness the work of Cuba’s acclaimed Teatro Buendía in two productions during the 2010 Latino Theatre Fesitval: La Visita de la Vieja Dama (July 8 – 11) based on Dürrematt’s The Visit, and Charenton (July 15 – 18) by Raquel Carrió, a new interpretation of the story of the Marquis de Sade and his direction of the asylum inmates in theatrical performances. Led by Founding Artistic Director and theater educator Flora Lauten, Cuba’s premier theater company Teatro Buendía is renowned for its poignant adaptations of classic texts whose themes reflect the struggles and challenges of contemporary Cuban society. 

Goodman Resident Artistic Associate and Festival curator Henry Godinez, who first encountered Teatro Buendía in 2003 with Las bacantes (The Bacchae), describes their performance style as “heightened and ferocious, yet undeniably honest and personal,” informed by a ritualistic sense of rhythm drawn from Caribbean and African traditions. Lauten and playwright Carrió contextualize western and European classics in a uniquely Cuban setting with traditional music and dance, with an ensemble of actors trained through the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana.

After the show—don’t go! July 9 and 16 are “Fabuloso Fridays”, including such post-performance delights as signature cocktails ($7 “Teatro Margarita” and “Buendía Sangria,” specially mixed by Goodman House Manager Justine Bondurant) and Serendipity Theatre Collective’s 2nd Story with D.J. Miles Beyond spinning stories and funky mash-up music. 2nd Story performers include Jasmin Cardenas, Khanisha Foster, Tony Sancho and Ilana Shabanov.

Tickets to Teatro Buendía’s performances ($14 – $28) and the events in the Latino Theatre Festival are on sale now. Call 312.443.3800, click or visit the box office (170 North Dearborn). 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. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.

In Raquel Carrió’s La Visita de la Vieja Dama, Clara Zajanin returns to her hometown, the fictitious Gula, 40 years after her neighbors drove her away for “indecorosa” (indecency). Now rich and glamorous, Clara arrives in ruined Gula offering riches in exchange for revenge. Charenton is a complex maze of madness, morality and revolution. The French aristocrat and writer of erotic novels the Marquis de Sade spent 13 years in the Charenton Asylum, where he infamously directed the other inmates in theatrical performances. In Charenton, the Marquis directs a play-within-a-play about the French Revolution that culminates with the murder of Jean-Paul Marat—the “friend of the people.” The performance is supervised by the director of the asylum, who has instructed the Marquis to ensure that his play supports the contemporary patriotic opinion—but the inmates have other ideas.

About Teatro Buendía

The most celebrated independent theater company in Cuba, Teatro Buendía is renowned for its poignant adaptations of classic texts whose themes reflect the struggles and challenges of contemporary Cuban society. Teatro Buendía was founded in 1986 by actress, teacher and artistic director Flora Lauten, with graduates from the Instituto Superior de Arte. Lauten and playwright Raquel Carrio contextualize western and European classics in a uniquely Cuban setting, with an ensemble of actors who have trained rigorously with Lauten through the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana. Top-notch performances, a meticulously chosen repertoire and the company’s unique acting methods have thrilled audiences and critics alike—both in Cuba and internationally.

La Visita de la Vieja Dama

Based on Friedrich Durrenmatt’s The Visit

Adapted by Raquel Carrió, Directed by Flora Lauten

July 8 (7:30PM); July 9 and 10 (8pm); July 11 (2pm) | Owen Theatre | Spanish w/English subtitles

$28/$14 (students w/ID)


By Raquel Carrió

Directed by Flora Lauten

July 15 (7:30pm); July 16 and July 17 (8pm); July 18 (2pm) | Owen Theatre | Spanish w/English subtitles

$28/$14 (students w/ID)

Latino Theatre Festival has been a biennial event at Goodman Theatre since 2003 and has introduced more than 20,000 Chicagoans to prominent Latino theater companies around the globe. Under the direction of Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, Latino Fest is a multi-week event that transforms the Goodman into a hub of international artistic exchange; productions by local, national and international theater artists, plus a variety of events—workshops, master classes, panel discussions and post-show live music by local bands—define the experience. Teatro Buendía joins the expanding list of international Latino theater companies that have performed at the Goodman since 2003: Compañia Marta Carrasco (Spain); Comediants (Spain); Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes (Mexico); and Pia Fraus (Brazil). Last season, Compania Triptal (Brazil)’s Sea Plays were a memorable addition to the Goodman’s 2009 Global Exploration of Eugene O’Neill, an international festival and celebration of the father of the American drama. National artists of note have come to the Goodman from New York (Universes’ Blue Sweat; Adrianna Sevan’s Taking Flight) and Los Angeles (Luiz Alfaro’s The Book of Titus and Other Latino Bible Stories; Culture Clash’s AmeriCCa). Local participants have included works from Aguijón Theater Company, Albany Park Theater Project, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Luna Negra, Teatro Luna and Teatro Vista.

Goodman Theatre is grateful to The Sins of Sor Juana and Latino Theatre Festival Sponsors. Principal support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Target is the Lead Corporate Sponsor for The Sins of Sor Juana and Lead Festival Diversity Night Sponsor; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is the Corporate Sponsor Partner for The Sins of Sor Juana; the National Endowment for the Arts is also a Sponsor Partner. Major Support of the Festival is provided by The Chicago Community Trust and The Boeing Company Charitable Trust. Other Festival Sponsors include Baker & McKenzie LLP, the Illinois Arts Council, Dominick’s, The Nielsen Company and State Farm Insurance. Hoy is the Print Media Sponsor, Univision is the Broadcast Media Sponsor, The Chicago Latino Network is the Digital Media Sponsor and Comcast is the Media Partner for the Latino Theatre Festival. Support for Sarruga: Insects is provided by the Ramon Llull Institute and The Tourist Office of Spain.

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