Teatro Vista announces the world premiere of Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Abuelas, a sequel to her acclaimed play The Madres, February 9-March 17, 2019 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. Press opening is Friday, February 15 at 8 p.m. Regular show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets, $20-$35, go on sale December 17. For tickets and information, visit teatrovista.org, victorygardens.org or call (773) 871-3000.
The Abuelas is a companion piece to The Madres, which Teatro Vista premiered last spring and New City hailed “one of the best plays of the year.” Walker’s newest chapter builds on the same characters introduced in The Madres, which told the emotional story of three generations of women in Argentina struggling to survive the country’s now-infamous Guerra Sucia (Dirty War).
Meet Gabriela, an Argentine cellist, the first woman to be principal cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Gabriela is living with her American husband, adjusting to life as a new mom, and tending to her mother who is staying to help with the new baby. When a visit from two strangers exposes a 37-year-old secret, everything is upended. How does one go on after discovering their life is a lie? Does the restoration of truth bring freedom or suffering? Is it possible to integrate two identities into one life? In The Abuelas, Walker explores these questions as well as the heart’s capacity for forgiveness, even in the face of the harshest betrayal.
Teatro Vista Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez, who directed The Madres, returns to stage The Abuelas.
The cast includes Teatro Vista ensemble members Cruz Gonzalez Cadel (Gabriela), Eddie Martinez (Cesar) and Nate Santana (Marty), with Katie Barberi (Soledad), Alba Guerra (Carolina) and Ilse Zacharias (Belen).
Designers are Jose Manuel Diaz (set), Sanja Manakowski (costumes) and Diane Fairchild (lights). Assistant director is Lorena Diaz. Production manager is Jennifer Aparicio. Stage manager is Stephanie Hurovitz. Sylvia Hevia is Managing Director.
Stephanie Walker (playwright) was raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She is now an L.A.-based award-winning playwright. Walker penned Teatro Vista’s acclaimed 2018 debut of The Madres, which received four consecutive productions in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego and Austin as part of a NNPN Rolling World Premiere. The Chicago Tribune called The Madres “a very interesting play about a human rights disaster that went on for years and remains criminally under explored in cultural works seen in the United States.” The Latin American premiere of the Spanish version of The Madres opened in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in August 2018.
Walker’s new companion to The Madres, The Abuelas, was winner of the 2018 Ashland New Plays Festival, a finalist for the 2018 NNPN New Play Showcase and a semi-finalist for the 2017 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Walker’s other full-length plays include Friends With Guns, The Art of Disappearing, American Home, The Sister House, Three Fitting sand The Box Jumper. Her work has been produced and/or developed at Teatro Vista, Chicago Dramatists, 16th Street Theater, American Blues Theatre, Moving Arts, Antaeus Theatre, The Road Theatre, The Blank Theatre, Skylight Theatre, Little Candle Productions, San Diego Rep, Moxie Theatre Company, Boulder Ensemble Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville and more. Awards include: two-time winner of the Ashland New Plays Festival, winner of Chicago's American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Award, the 2016 Generations Prize, finalist for the 2016 Saroyan/Paul Playwriting Prize for Human Rights, Jane Chambers Award runner-up, two-time finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, finalist for the CTG/Humanitas Playwriting Prize, and four-time finalist for the prestigious Heideman Award. Walker’s short plays are anthologized by Smith & Kraus and have been produced all over the world. She is a NNPN Affiliate Artist, a member of the Playwrights Union in Los Angeles and the Antaeus Playwrights Lab. She is represented by the Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency and Stagecoach Management. For more, visit stephaniealisonwalker.com.
Teatro Vista Executive Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez (director) most recently staged the company’s world premiere of The Madres. Other Teatro Vista directing credits include The Wolf at the End of the Block, Parachute Men, In The Time of the Butterflies, Between You, Me & The Lampshade, A View From The Bridge, Momma’s Boyz, i put the fear of mexico in ’em and La Mágica Posada. He is co-founder of the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists of Chicago (ALTA), a service organization dedicated to promoting and fostering Latinx theatre artists in Chicago. As an actor, his credits include Destiny of Desire at Goodman Theatre and South Coast Repertory, In The Heights at Paramount and the world premieres of Song For The Disappeared and Fish Men at Goodman. He has also performed at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Denver Center Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens and Lookingglass Theatre. TV credits include Chicago PD, Sirens and Boss. Before joining Teatro Vista, Gutiérrez served as the artistic director of Nosotros in Los Angeles and The Canterbury Theatre in Indiana.
About Teatro Vista
Teatro Vista produces, develops and commissions plays that explore the wealth and variety of the human experience from a Latinx perspective. The company provides work and professional advancement opportunities for Latinx theatre artists, with special emphasis on the company’s ensemble members, and seeks to enhance the curricular
goals of Chicago students through theatre. Teatro Vista was recently celebrated as one of “Chicago’s Cultural Leaders” by the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and received the League of Chicago Theatre’s Artistic Leadership Award.
Teatro Vista’s primary focus is producing new works by Latinx theatre artists and presenting classic plays featuring artists of color. Its artistic vision is shaped by the company’s ensemble members, a group of multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi- disciplinary artists. They inform Teatro Vista’s artistic aesthetic by devising original works as well as by selecting plays with themes that are engaging and relevant to Chicago’s diverse population.
Teatro Vista was founded in 1990 by Edward Torres and Henry Godinez. As Teatro Vista’s first Artistic Director, Godinez guided the company during the formative years. He helped stage successful productions and establish vital relationships with other theatre companies and artists. When Godinez stepped down, Torres was appointed Artistic Director. Under Torres’ direction, Teatro Vista used the stage to engage, connect and challenge audience members using the company’s mission as his guide.
In 2012, Torres moved to New York and the Board of Directors promoted Associate Artistic Director Ricardo Gutiérrez to the position of Executive Artistic Director. In 2017, Sylvia Hevia joined Teatro Vista as Managing and Development Director. Previously, Hevia was Director of Marketing and Development of the International Latino Cultural Center and had her own multicultural event production company.
In addition to Gutiérrez, Teatro Vista ensemble members include Charín Álvarez, Max Arciniega, Desmín Borges, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Ramón Camín, Ivonne Coll, Laura Dahl, Sandra Delgado, Liza Fernández, Khanisha Foster, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Issac Gomez, Erik Juárez, Jon Lyon, Sandra Márquez, Eddie Martinez, Salome Martinez, Joe Minoso, Ayssette Muñoz, Christina Nieves, Marvin Quijada, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Gabriel Ruíz, Nate Santana, Cecilia Suarez and co-founder Edward Torres.
Teatro Vista’s Board of Directors includes Tom Vega-Byrnes, President and Treasurer; Joan Pantsios, Secretary; and Ezequiel “Zeek” Agosto, Bhuvana Badrinathan, Adela Cepeda, Edgar Delgado, Ricardo Gutiérrez, Sylvia Hevia, Kelly Jones, Rosanna Márquez, Kareem C. Mohamednur, Carina Sanchez, Angel Torres and Jose Vasquez.
Teatro Vista is supported by Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago, Art Works, Illinois Arts Council, Lester and Hope Abelson, The Shubert Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Bayless Family Foundation and Vidal & Associates.
Purple Group is Teatro Vista’s Headline Season Sponsor. Teatro Vista is a Victory Gardens Resident Theater. For more information, visit teatrovista.org.