Two River Theater’s highly celebrated Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) Festival of new plays by Latinx playwrights is set to take place August 4 – 7, 2022 in Two River’s Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater. The community kick-off event will be Wednesday, August 3 at 6PM at Johnny Jazz Park in Red Bank, withlive music from local artists and delicious eats from neighborhood restaurants.
This year’s festival is curated by José Zayas and features four new plays. “This is a thrilling year for the festival. It is our first year back for in person performances and I’m so excited to share the work of these four playwrights with the Red Bank community. These plays are some of the most exciting stories I’ve encountered over the past year ranging from a lyrical intergenerational love story to a haunted house narrative to a sharp satire on the madness of identity politics in showbusiness. As festival curator I aim to find storytellers who surprise me and this year is no different- all of these plays deal with characters who have complicated relationships with the past, they’re about how we question what we’ve been told is right and how we navigate a world that wants to stay the same when we know things need to change. I love how different these stories are and how these playwrights continue to expand and challenge our perceptions of what it means to be Latinx,” says Zayas.
Two River Theater is partnering with Project Write Now, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Red Bank, transforming individuals, organizations, and communities through writing. Through our Voices of Hope outreach program, PWN students will perform their own original work before every play in the Crossing Borders Festival. Voices of Hope is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Crossing Borders Festival audiences are encouraged to participate in an interactive lobby display curated by coLAB Arts. coLAB Arts generates community-powered projects and seeks to create an art scene using new and established spaces. Its work takes place in community rooms, houses of worship, parking lots, schools, bars, and backyards. A “let’s get it done” work ethic and flair for mischief colors coLAB Arts’ aesthetic and an emphasis on community engagement and professional development defines its commitment to the arts.
Tickets are free and all plays run between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
SCHEDULE OF READINGS
By Matt Barbot
Directed by José Zayas
7PM THURSDAY, AUGUST 4
The epic foundational fantasy series The Endurance Trilogy is finally getting the big-picture franchise film treatment, bringing together a group of friends to watch each one of the saga’s three installments over the years. But love of a story can be experienced in many ways, and questions of representation, inclusion, and interpretation bring the implications of fantasy escapism very much into reality. Written by Matt Barbot (El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom), Trilogy asks what it means to be a fan and what it means to be a friend.
A SKEPTIC AND A BRUJA
by Rosa Fernandez
Directed by Cat Rodríguez
7PM FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
Maybe there’s nothing really ghostly going on, but the popular paranormal investigation YouTube series A Skeptic and Bruja will at least bring some publicity to this old BnB and its struggling owner. But as the phenomena pile up, is it all because of the building’s blood-curdling past? Or are more personal tragedies at work in this haunting?
by Marisela Treviño Orta
Directed by Lisa Rothe
3PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
Initially meeting as teacher and student, Carolina and Benjamin connect over a shared love of language and poetry. Reuniting over the span of twenty years, their discussions of art lead naturally to contemplations of life, relationships, regrets, and the undeniable pull of the connection between soulmates that cannot be denied.
CONCERT EVENT: Alea featuring Franco Pinna and Sinuhé Padilla
8PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
With a welcoming sound that embraces cumbia, vallenato, rancheras, jazz and American pop, the singer-songwriter Alea moves her audiences with messages of the spirit, calls for social change and free-flowing love. Originally from La Guajira, Colombia, Alea’s performance encompasses an entire generation of ethno-futuristic and folkloric music accentuated by buttery vocals, deep-rooted grooves and uplifting guitar. Alea’s in-person performances are powerful encounters of the spirit, passionate travelogues that link downtown New York to a tropical Colombian cantina. They are celebrations of Latin America and new definitions of what “Latin Alternative” can be. Her most recent album, 2021’s Alborotá, was shortlisted as among the Best Latin Music of the year by both Rolling Stone and NPR.
THE PLAY YOU WANT
by Bernardo Cubría
Directed by José Zayas
3PM SUNDAY, AUGUST 7
Commercial success is knocking and the Public Theater is ready to take playwright Bernardo Cubría’s play “Nar-Cocos” straight to theater super-stardom. Only problem is, the whole thing started as a sarcastic sendup of the type of play he never actually wanted to write. Now he might just be able to secure a future for himself and his family, but only if he further exploits his own identity for public consumption. In The Play You Want Cubría takes hilarious aim at the contemporary theater world with wit and bite, and no one is safe from his incisive observations.
To register for all festival events, visit: https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2186620®id=16&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Ftworivertheater.org%2Fwhats-on%2Fcrossing-borders-2022%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1
ABOUT CROSSING BORDERS
Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) is an annual celebration of new plays by Latinx theater artists. The 2019 festival, curated by José Zayas, included plays by Mando Alvarado (Living and Breathing, directed by Rebecca Martínez, which will be a part of the upcoming 2022/2023 Season), Benjamin Benne (Alma, directed by Catherine María Rodríguez), Georgina Escobar (StoneHeart, directed by José Zayas) and Eliana Pipes (Dream Hou$e, directed by Cristina Angeles), and music by Flaco Navaja & The Razor Blades. More than 900 people joined them for readings, concerts and free community events.
Since Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) launched in 2011, five productions developed in the festival have gone on to mainstage productions at the theater.