A mother's love knows no boundaries... After a five-year self-imposed absence, Julio César, a young man with a buried secret, returns home after the death of his father. Over the course of two evenings, mother and son, two estranged generations of Dominicans living on Chicago’s North side, attempt to rekindle the love and appreciation for each other and their roots; but unexpected revelations threaten to destroy an already thin bond between mother and child in Marco Antonio Rodríguez’s riveting award-winning drama La Luz de un Cigarrillo/Ashes of Light.
UrbanTheater Company (UTC) announced today an extended run of their English-language Chicago-based adaptation of Rodríguez’s play from April 10-May 13 at Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division St., on the Paseo Boricua in the heart of Humboldt Park. Directed by UTC Artistic Director Miranda González, this production received its World Premiere last year at the Victory Gardens Theater during the First Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. Karla López Galvan-Raigoza and Sipriano Cahue join original cast members Nydia Castillo and Maritza Nazario for this month-long run which concludes UTC’s 12th Season. The Humboldt Park-based company is already working on their 13th Season and on their 13th anniversary celebration, which will take place in late May (details to be announced at a later date).
La Luz de un Cigarrillo enjoyed massive critical and box office success during its initial five week run at Off-Broadway’s LATEA theater in 2011 continued with an “extended by popular demand” two weeks of additional performances. La luz de un cigarrillo won five HOLA Awards (Including Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting) from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) and four ACE Awards (including Best Director and Best Drama) from the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics.
Previews for Ashes of Light are from Tuesday, April 10-Thursday, April 12. Press/Opening Night is on Friday, April 13; the play closes on Sunday, May 13. Showtimes are: Previews, 7:30 pm; Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 pm; Sundays, 3 pm.
Tickets: Suggested donation of $20 (general admission) and $15 (students and seniors). Teatro Thursdays: $30, dinner (The Chicago Teacher Lounge & Eatery, 2525 W. Division St.) plus show package. Teatro Sundays Brunch N' Play: $50, Mother’s Day Brunch special, May 13, at Nellie’s Restaurant, 2458 W. Division St. Will include carved ham, lechón (roast pork), potato salad and an elaborate dessert table. Limited space available.
You can purchase your tickets online by visiting, http://bit.ly/ashesoflight
About the Cast
Sipriano Cahue (Julio Cesar) is very excited for his UrbanTheater Company debut in Ashes of Light. Some of his favorite past credits include: You, Me & Tuno (Teatro Luna), Luz Estrada (Mercy Street Theatre Company), ‘Gator Bait & A Piece of My Heart (A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company), and he recently came off a nine month run as a part of the long running Chicago classic, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.
Nydia Castillo (Luz) joined the UrbanTheater Company ensemble in 2015. Her acting credits with UTC include Julia de Burgos: Child of Water, Adoration of the Old Woman, La Gringa and now Ashes of Light. She has been an Aguijón Theater ensemble member since 2001, where her acting credits include:Monday Falls on León Rodríguez, The Virtuous Burglar, The House of Bernarda Alba, Yerma, Eréndira, Las Soldaderas, Antígona, Within, Querido Voyeur, Blowout!, and Adverses - an adaptation of Electra the Greek tragedy. Other stage credits in Chicago include Lorca Alma Presente, Lorca Forever with Water People Theater, Blood Wedding with La Molécula Artística, and the staged reading of La Carretawith Court.
Karla López Galván-Raigoza (Lydia) is a Mexican/Peruvian actress, director and teaching artist. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in fine arts. Karla has also received extensive theater training in the city of Mexico. In 2003, she founded Teatro Tariakuri, a Chicago Latino theater company based in the south side. In 2004 she opened with En otoño los gatos tienen colita at Village Player Theater in Oak Park. Karla has directed many productions, catering to both adult comedy and children’s production. She is currently a teaching artist working with the youth in the south side and is also working on her next productions which will open in the summer and late fall of 2018.
Maritza Nazario (Divina) was born in the countryside of a small town in Puerto Rico, surrounded by trees, streams and mountains. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in theater and has extensive experience as a playwright, poet, actress and theatrical director. She is currently the Executive Director and Acting Instructor of En Las Tablas Performing Arts, a not-for-profit, performing arts community organization in Chicago, which she co-founded 10 years ago. Some of her latest projects include: La Gringa; Con Maleta en Mano; Rumpope, Coquito and Eggnog; The Science of Women; Gracias, Rafael; and Face to Face with the Bolita Complex. Maritza has also participated in a few local films and documentaries, was a member of Latino Chicago Theater Co and has done performance training with Augusto Boal and La Pocha Nostra.
About the Creative Team
Marco Antonio Rodríguez (Playwright): Born and raised in New York City, with roots from the Dominican Republic, Marco Antonio is a graduate of La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. He has acted, written, produced and directed hits such as Pico de Gallo, Heaven Forbid(s)! (named Outstanding New Play by The Dallas/Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum) and the Southwest Premiere of Rick Najera’s Latinologues, which later moved on to Broadway. His short screenplays, Silence, Mariscal and Covenant, all placed 1st at the NYC Midnight international screenwriting competitions. Mariscal was a finalist in the Slamdance writing competition. Marco Antonio has written guest commentary for Latino Leaders Magazine and TCG (Theatre Communications Guild). He is the recipient of a Banff International Literary Translation Centre Writing Residency in Alberta, Canada and a CUNY Dominican Studies Archives Library Research Grant.
Miranda González (Director) was a founding ensemble member of Chicago’s Only All Latina Theater company Teatro Luna and has devised and developed plays since 2000. After performing as an actress for 10 years she decided to turn her artistic endeavors towards directing. Previous directing and development credits include: La Gringa, GL 2010, Of Princes and Princesas at the 2010 Goodman Latino Theatre Festival; 10x10 Festival, Lullaby, The North/South Plays workshop at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; Crossed, Crime Scene Chicago with Collaboraction; and Melissa DuPrey’s Sushi-Frito at Free Street Theater.
Antonio Bruno (Production Manager) is dedicated to his community, working with UTC as Company Manager; he is also on the Board of Directors of the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC). He has worked as a sound designer for UTC’s Cuba and his Teddy Bear, First Class, Devil Land, Julia De Burgos: Child of Water, Lolita de Lares and La Gringa. He also worked as Production Manager for the past three productions at UTC.
Caswell James (Scenic Designer/Technical Director) has worked with Black Ensemble Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Pegasus Theater, and Redmoon Theater and now has made a new home here at UrbanTheater Company with his third production as a designer and Technical Director. Caswell loves working with this amazing team that allows him to expand his creative outlets.
Sara Carranza (Stage Manager) is excited to work on her third production at UrbanTheater Company. She is a proud company member/manager at The Cuckoo's Theater Project. Previous credits include: La Gringa/UTC, The Heidi Chronicles/TCTP, Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls/TCTP, Crime Scene Chicago/Collaboraction and more.
Ivan Vega (Producer) is an actor, producer and co-founding Artistic Director of UrbanTheater Company (UTC) and current Executive Director since 2010. He serves as a proud board member of The League of Chicago Theatres. His recent credits include: Water &Power/UTC; Julia de Burgos: Child of Water/UTC; First Class/UTC & Theater on the Lake; Cuba and His Teddy Bear/UTC; Broken Thread/UTC; Eulogy for a Small Time Thief at Batey Urbano/UTC (2007 After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance as 'David Dancer') & Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams at Victory Gardens. TV credits include: The Line (CBS pilot) and Chicago P.D. (NBC). Ivan holds his Bachelor's in Fine Arts in acting from the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University.
About UrbanTheater Company
Founded in 2005, UrbanTheater Company is committed to the creation and exploration of urban-inspired works that convey, illuminate and empathize with the human experience. As a platform for multicultural representation in the performance arena, UrbanTheater Company serves as a bridge between Chicago’s urban and Latinx communities and a vehicle of performing arts. UrbanTheater Company engages itself in the work of community responsibility and strives to raise awareness and contribute to the important conversations concerning many of the social issues facing our diverse backgrounds. UTC’s current Board of Directors is composed of: Juan Linares (President), Jerry Conner (Vice-President), Marty McCaffrey (Treasurer), Miranda González (Secretary) and Iván Vega.
For more information about UrbanTheater Company, visit http://urbantheaterchicago.org. Follow UTC on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UrbanTheater and on Twitter http://twitter.com/UrbanTheater