Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras)
Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) is an annual celebration of new plays by Latinx theater artists. Back in person for the first time in three years, this year’s festival is curated by José Zayas and features four new plays to be read in our Rechnitz Theater.
This festival is free and open to the public.
CROSSING BORDERS PARTNERS
Two River Theater is proud to partner 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:
MEET THE VOICES OF HOPE STORYTELLERS
Joselin Xochitecatl Escalona
Joselin Xochitecatl Escalona is a 17-year-old girl born in Mexico Puebla but at only four months old Joselin was brought here to the United States. Ever since then, she has been raised in Red Bank, N.J., and she’s not afraid to have her voice heard. If she sees the chance to speak up for herself and others she will for sure do it. She hopes to one day become a successful undocumented woman that can be the key that opens many doors for her family. A family that faced many obstacles in their life but no matter what their chin was up. Joselin is entering her senior year at Red Bank Regional High School.
Nathalia Garcia is a first generation Brazilian-American studying English-education at Georgian Court University and hopes to soon become a high school English teacher. When not lost in a novel, she takes several classes at Project Write Now and assists at a few of the afterschool programs. Born in the spring, she used to often pick pretty flowers and, overcome with their loveliness, would pop them into her mouth and eat them! She seeks connection through poetry and what she likes to call haunted prose. These days, Nathalia can be found either on a river enjoying blooming lilies or at her home in Long Branch where she resides with a loving partner, their two cats, and 100+ houseplants.
Hane Linares is a senior at Red Bank Regional where she is part of the Visual Performing Arts Academy majoring in creative writing. She grew up with two
strong women, her mother and grandmother. They have both pushed her to pursue her writing dreams.
Nathaly Segura is an ambitious young writer who seeks to encourage others to express their voices through poetry, short stories, and other forms of writing. Nathaly will begin her freshman year at Rider University this fall.
Crossing Borders Festival audiences are encouraged to participate in an interactive lobby display curated by coLAB Arts. The art, featuring Voices of Hope readers and powerful messages from the festival’s readings, has been created by artist Amrisa Niranjan, but it needs your help to be completed! This community-driven piece will be completed and revealed over the course of the festival weekend, so the more readings you attend, the more you can contribute. coLAB Arts engages artists, social advocates, and communities to create transformative new work and facilitate conversation, to challenge perceptions and inspire action.
By Matt Barbot
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.
Thursday, Aug 4 @ 7PM
Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes plus 10 minute intermission
MEET THE ARTISTS
MATT BARBOT is a Nuyorican writer from Brooklyn, NY. His play EL COQUÍ ESPECTÁCULAR AND THE BOTTLE OF DOOM (Kennedy Center Darrel Ayers Award, Kennedy Center Latinidad Award) received its world premiere at Two River Theater in January of 2018. The short piece “Spray Cap,” Matt’s contribution to Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon’s THE WATERING HOLE at Signature Theatre featuring Liza Colon-Zayas, received special praise from The New Yorker and The New York Times. His piece FRIJOLES, starring Raul Esparza, is available to view on YouTube. Matt recently workshopped his new plays THE BEAUTIFUL LAND I SEEK (LA LINDA TIERRA QUE BUSCO YO) at Fault Line Theatre, and TRILOGY, a commission for Two River Theater, both with director José Zayas. PRINCESS CLARA OF LOISAIDA and SAINTS GO MARCHING were featured on Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company’s “The Mix” list. His short play “A List of Some Shit I’ve Killed” was published as part of the Red Bull Theater’s anthology Red Bull Shorts Volume III. Matt’s first play for young audiences, STOO’S FAMOUS MARTIAN AMERICAN GUMBO, was commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre. Roundabout Theatre Company awarded THE VENETIANS the 2019 Columbia@Roundabout prize. Additionally, Matt has worked with comic book creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez as an editor and co-writer for Darryl Makes Comics’ DMC, as well as Somos Arte’s La Borinqueña. Matt is a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow and has an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.
A SKEPTIC AND A BRUJA
By Rosa Fernandez
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?
Friday, Aug 5 @ 7PM
Run Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
MEET THE ARTISTS
Rosa Fernandez (she/her) attended Brooklyn College for her BFA in Theater and lives in Buffalo, NY full time with her husband and two children. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild and a two-time participant of the Emmanuel Fried New Play Workshop facilitated by Road Less Traveled Productions in Buffalo, NY. As a first-generation child of immigrants and a Latinx/e woman, she is passionate about inclusion. Her play, Curse of the Puerto Ricans was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and runner-up in the MetLife Nuestras Voces Playreading Series for Repertorio Español. Curse of the Puerto Ricans will receive its World Premiere at Bishop Arts Theatre Center in August 2022 and was a part of the 2020 Kilroy’s Lost Season. Her play A Skeptic and a Bruja was a finalist in Urbanite Theatre’s 2021 Modern Works Festival and received its World Premiere in April 2022 at Urbanite Theatre.
By Marisela Treviño Orta
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.
Saturday, Aug 6 @ 3PM
Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes, plus 10 minute intermission
MEET THE ARTISTS
Marisela Treviño Orta
Marisela Treviño Orta is an accidental playwright. She found her way to the genre while completing an MFA in poetry at the University of San Francisco. Eventually, she returned to graduate school and acquired an MFA in Playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Her plays include: A Place to Belong, Alcira, Braided Sorrow, Ghost Limb, Heart Shaped Nebula, Return to Sender, The River Bride, Shoe, Somewhere, WMB, Wolf at the Door, and Woman on Fire. Her work has been presented at ACT Young Conservatory, American Players Theatre, Arizona Theater Company, Brava Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Nashville Children’s Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Company, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shotgun Players, Su Teatro, and Teatro Público de Cleveland. Marisela’s awards include the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama, 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Drama, 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award Co-Winner, and 2019 Kendeda Finalist. She is a former resident playwright at the Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco, a former Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and a former Playwrights Unit member at the Goodman Theatre. Currently, Marisela is under commission by SPARC (Shakespeare Performing Arts Regional Center) and by the Latino Theatre Company as part of its Imaginistas Circle where she is working on a climate change play called Basilosaurus and a movement piece entitled A Girl Grows Wings, respectively. Her Audible commissioned play Nightfall is available on their platform.
THE PLAY YOU WANT
By Bernardo Cubría
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.
Sunday, Aug 7 @ 3PM
Run Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
MEET THE ARTISTS
Bernardo Cubria is a Mexican award-winning screenwriter and playwright. As a screenwriter he is developing projects with Carlos López Estrada, Endeavor Content, eOne, Broken English Productions, I Can And I Will Productions, among others. He is currently collaborating closely with Gina Rodriguez penning the feature Like It Used to Be as well as the Untitled Ryan Garcia Project, both of which Gina will star in and produce. As a playwright he has been awarded the Smith Prize for Political Theater and the BETC Generations Award, among others. His play, The Play You Want, premiered at the Road Theatre in Los Angeles in 2022 and was awarded the Generation Award by Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company in 2020. The play was also awarded the Ingenio 2020 Award for new play by a Latinx Playwright by The Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon. In 2019 he was nominated for best playwright at The Ovation Awards, Stage Raw Awards, and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for his play The Giant Void In My Soul.
ALEA CONCERT EVENT
Saturday, Aug 6 @ 8PM
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.
Franco Pinna, Sinuhé Padilla
RADIO JORNALERA SPOTLIGHT
HEALTH & SAFETY
The safety of our patrons, staff and artists is our number one priority. As such, all guests, regardless of age or vaccination status, are required to wear masks while inside the theater building. Exceptions are only made for patrons eating and/or drinking in designated areas.
Proof of vaccination will not be required for Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras). Providing proof of vaccination is determined on a show-by-show basis.
Two River Theater will follow any forthcoming state mandates related to Covid-19. All requirements are subject to change, allowing us to best prioritize the safety of our audience members, artists, staff and community.