The New Jersey professional premiere of Oscar Nominee José Rivera's
"Marisol" begins preview performances on April 10th with an official
opening night of Friday, April 18th at Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ.
Set in early 90s New York City, Rivera's powerful and poetic play
plunges audiences into the story of a young Latina woman forced to
navigate a world left in disarray when her guardian angel leaves her
to fight a battle of biblical proportion.
In the magic realism style of his mentor Gabriel García Márquez,
Rivera creates an urban fantasy, filled with humor and pathos, urging
society to recover our long-lost compassion and to wrest our world
from the brink of destruction.
"To my knowledge, this play has not been revived professionally in the
NY area since its premiere", says Luna Artistic Director, Cheryl Katz.
"In some ways this makes sense, because up until now, I don't think
the time has been quite ripe. But now, with where we find ourselves
spiritually, economically, and globally, the play feels so relevant
again. I really think Rivera was prescient when he wrote this play.
The future he depicts is our present."
José Rivera won the Obie Award for best play for "Marisol" in 1993. He is a
prolific writer for the stage and is also the first Puerto Rican
screenwriter ever to be nominated for an academy award ("Motorcycle
Diaries"). The Luna Stage revival of "Marisol" is directed by Niegel
Smith. Smith's theater work has been produced by The Public Theater,
Classical Theatre of Harlem, Magic Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop
Theatre Festival, Summer Play Festival, New York Fringe Festival and
the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble.
The production features an ensemble of five actors: Cynthia Fernandez,
Nehassaiu deGannes, Christopher Kelly, Emma O'Donnell and Debbie Bernstein.
Ms. Fernandez in the title role, grew up in Dumont, NJ and is a graduate of
Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ms deGannes returns to Luna after performing
in the company's 2011 world premiere "The Tallest Building in the World" by
Matt Schatz. Mr Kelly and Ms. O'Donnell each make their Luna Stage debut
after performing regionally nationwide. Rounding out the ensemble is Debbie
Bernstein, a Maplewood, NJ resident who has performed extensively at some
of New Jersey's finest community theaters.
The design team for "Marisol" includes Set Designer Arnulfo Maldonado,
Light Designer Jorge Arroyo, Sound Designer Erik T. Lawson and Costume
Designer Deborah Caney. The Production Stage Manager is Aubriana
The production runs Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm from April 10th through May 11th. Opening night is Friday April 18th. Tickets range from $25-$35 and can be purchased at lunastage.org, by calling 973-395-5551 or in person Tues.-Fri.10 am-3 pm. Group, student and senior discounts available.
For over two decades, Luna Stage has produced thought-provoking theatre that gives voice to emerging American playwrights and re-examines contemporary and classic plays that speak to our times. As producer, educator and innovator, Luna Stage is committed to collaborating with artists of multiple disciplines and community partners to illuminate the diverse perspectives of society.
Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. The theatre is handicapped accessible and offers assistive listening devices.