UrbanTheater Company proudly announces the opening play in its 11th season, the Midwest premiere of La Gringa. This Obie Award-winning holiday comedy by Carmen Rivera has been running continuously Off-Broadway since 1996, making it the longest-running Spanish play in Off-Broadway history. For the play’s 20th anniversary, UrbanTheater Company will produce the English-language version. Tickets are available here.
Miranda Gonzalez, a founding member of Chicago’s only all-Latina theater company, Teatro Luna, directs the production. Mikey O Comedy Productions founder Mike Oquendo will co-produce the show.
In this Obie Award-winning comedy about a young woman’s search for her identity, María Elena Garcia goes to visit her extended family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays, excited to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has grown up with an intense love for the island and even majored in Puerto Rican Studies in college. Upon her arrival, however, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American–a gringa—and María considers this a betrayal: If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico, María concludes, then this makes her a nobody everywhere. Her journey to come to terms with who she is leads María into misperceptions and misadventures. But will an unlikely ally help her find her way to the other side?
La Gringa will be performed at UrbanTheater Company, 2620 W. Division Street in Chicago from November 11-December 11, 2016, with performances on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Previews begin Tuesday, November 11. Tickets are $10-$20 and are available at www.urbantheaterchicago.org
“La Gringa is the perfect play to kick off UrbanTheater Company’s eleventh season because it takes the audience on a search for personal and cultural identity, which connects to our mission and history of producing plays which explore and illustrate Latinx life,” says UrbanTheater Company executive director and founding member Ivan Vega.
“We’re excited to partner with Mike Oquendo as our co-producer for this show. Mike is a friend and has always been an advocate for UrbanTheater. I respect Mike and his work and everything he does for Chicago and the Latinx community.”
“Since the late 1990s, Mike has been producing more than 80 comedy shows per year, in neighborhoods all over Chicagoland and around the country, which showcase primarily Latinx talent,” Vega continues. “With UrbanTheater Company moving into its second decade of bringing professional theater featuring Puerto Rican works and artists to Humboldt Park, this play is a great opportunity for us both to celebrate and strengthen our relationships with the community by being the first to bring this important–and very funny—play to Chicago and the Midwest.”
Of La Gringa, the New York Times says, “90 minutes of laughter…Carmen Rivera has captured the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience,” and The Village Voice says, “Carmen Rivera’s deft playwriting delivers María from her personality crisis with spiritual transcendence.”
Students and seniors: $12
60622 zip code residents: $10
Group rates available
Box Office: (312) 767-UTC1; (312) 767-8821 or http://urbantheaterchicago.org
Performance Venue: UrbanTheater Company at Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division St., on the Paseo Boricua in the heart of Humboldt Park (newly renovated)
Performance Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays