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Latino theater company portrays generational difficulties

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A Latino theater company in Buffalo is featuring a play translated into English for the first time.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the Raices Theatre Company is performing a special production that traces dark secrets from a family of that immigrated to New York City. 

“It premiered at the Spanish Repertory Theatre in New York City in Spanish. We are the first theater company to ever do it in English – in the whole U.S,” said Victoria Perez, artistic director of Raices.

Perez is directing Barceló on the Rocks. The Latino theater company is featuring the work of SUNY Buffalo State graduate Marco Antonio Rodriguez.

Perez said the play is about 'the demons and secrets" immigrants keep in coming from another country. The story  the character Nino Antonio Cruz. He's a Dominican man living in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood with his two sons. He confronts his mortality and dark family secrets.

“And it goes back and flash-backs to the Dominican Republic. We are seeing a Dominican family. You can hear a lot of Dominican references in the languages. You can expect to learn a little bit about the political atmosphere – somethings that we just don’t know about – even myself as Puerto Rican – not knowing the history of the Dominican Republic,” Perez explained.

Perez tells WBFO News the play features an all-male cast of six actors delivering a powerful message.

“The importance of it is the conversation that we need have about masculinity, about how the political atmosphere that you grew up in really affects you in the long run then it begins to affect your children and their children, so it’s generational. So it’s exploration of masculinity and what that means,” Perez remarked.

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Credit Graphic from Raices Theatre Company
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Barceló on the Rocks.

“How is this helping the community and better understand your cultural and what they are going to experience in the play?” Buckley asked. “That’s a wonderful question. The hopes is that we open the door to start that conversation – the conversation of why is my father this way, why do I behave towards my father in this way, and why am I this way, what are the things that make me who I am – and how can I heal them,” replied Perez.  

The ensemble company is made up of 16-members from actors to designers and directors - and is now in its 6th season.  The play is on stage until this Sunday, December 16th, at Manny Fried Playhouse in Buffalo.