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Theater for the New City Presents
Sotto Voce
Thursday, February 13, 2014 through Sunday, March 09, 2014

The World Premiere of a New Play from Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Nilo Cruz.

Length: 1 hr 30 mins
Intermission(s): Unknown
Seating: General Admission
You choose your seats when you get to the theater.

"Sotto Voce" by Nilo Cruz is a dream play in which a passionate, Jewish-Cuban young man (Saquiel) sets out to recover memories of the S.S. St. Louis which, in 1939, left Nazi Germany for Cuba filled with Jewish refugees but was turned back by Cuba, the U.S. and Canada. The young man's grandaunt was on the voyage. He seeks out a prominent, elderly, German-born novelist (Bemadette) who, as a young woman, loved a Jewish man who was a passenger to Cuba on the ship. Saquiel assumes the place of her lost lover in her powerful imagination. They both begin to fantasize a metaphysical love affair in which they share the conundrum of coming to grips with memories of that "voyage of the damned." She is trying to master them, he is seeking to understand them. The play venerates the supreme power of imagination that could bring these different people together.

Such an impossible love could only occur in another dimension, not the physical dimension. As a counterpoint to their experience, we meet the author's understanding maid (Lucila), an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, who hoards her employer's discarded writings (her "secret sorrows") but is incapable of living to such an extent.

Essentially, the play is a beautiful story of an older woman and younger man who find a unity of souls through their relationship with history and literature. It illustrates a holding on to memory that is very prevalent among Cubans as it is with the Jewish people. Playwright Nilo Cruz was born into a Cuban family which immigrated to the U.S. from Matanzas, a province of Cuba, when he was ten. Though not Jewish, observes that there are many Jews in Cuba, who arrived there before and after World War II. "The Cubans understand the Jews in a way they would never be aware of," he says. The play is not political, but it is rich with the refugee experience and with the emotional life of the characters.

The play was commissioned by Theater for the New City, with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, after TNC's Executive Artistic Director, Crystal Field, met Mr. Cruz at the Bogota Theater Festival in 2012. This world premiere will be directed by Mr. Cruz.
 


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This event is general admission and no seating is assigned at this time. You will choose your seats when you arrive at the venue. Please view the 'More info' link to view if the venue is ADA Complaint.