Press Release La Gringa - Miami Premiere! First-generation Latina tries to connect with her roots in this award-winning comedy - November 30-December 17
City Theatre Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Present
LA GRINGA – Miami Premiere
By Carmen Rivera
Directed by Gladys Ramírez
Award-winning bilingual comedy is the longest-running Spanish-language production Off-Broadway and explores a young Latina’s search for identity
"Carmen Rivera’s iconic play that captures the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience." – The New York Times
Thursday, November 30, 2023 – Preview
Friday, December 1, 2023 – Opening Night
through Sunday, December 17, 2023
Carnival Studio Theater in the Ziff Ballet Opera House
Miami, FL – November 10, 2023 – City Theatre Miami (@citytheatremia) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) are proud to present the Miami premiere of LA GRINGA, Carmen Rivera’s award-winning play about a young woman’s search for identity. The play is the longest-running Spanish-language production Off-Broadway, where it has run for more than 25 years. City Theatre’s production is a fully bilingual experience, featuring dialogue and captioning in English and Spanish. The production will be performed in the round inside the Arsht Center’s intimate Carnival Studio Theatre.
Tickets to LA GRINGA are $55 and $60*. Tickets may be purchased at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.
City Theatre presents an opening night pre-show celebration for LA GRINGA on Friday, December 1. The celebration kicks off at 6 pm with a lively Parranda on the Plaza, featuring Tamboricua Miami, a percussion ensemble showcasing Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance—an homage to the Puerto Rican parranda tradition. This festive gathering features food, drinks, and a lively ambiance to kick off the evening's festivities.
After each Friday night performance of LA GRINGA, audiences are invited to join post-show discussions hosted by dramaturg Karina Batchelor. Featured guests, including artists from the production, delve into topics stemming from the play, such as the art and culture of Puerto Rico, issues of identity and intersectionality, and the creative process behind bringing this story to life. These discussions offer audiences a deeper understanding of the play's themes and provide an engaging platform for meaningful conversations.
The Arsht Center’s THEATER UP CLOSE series gratefully acknowledges the founding support of Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen.
“In Miami, where our community weaves a tapestry of cultures, 'La Gringa' truly strikes a chord,” said City Theatre Executive Director Gladys Ramirez, who is also directing this production. “It's a story that resonates with so many of us, whether we're first-generation Americans or immigrants. This familiar tale comes to life through comedy and elements of magical realism. As a first-generation American born to parents from Peru, much of this personally resonates with me—the quest for identity, the challenges of leaving one's homeland, and the family dynamics with those who remained.”
Maria Elena Garcia visits her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and plans to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has an intense love for the island. She even majored in Puerto Rican studies in college. Once Maria is in Puerto Rico, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American — a gringa — and Maria considers this a betrayal. If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico, Maria concludes that she is nobody everywhere. Her uncle, Manolo, teaches her that identity isn’t based on superficial and external definitions, but is an essence she has had all along in her heart.
LA GRINGA features a dynamic cast led by Miami native Emily Garcia Carrerou (Maria Elena Garcia) and featuring Armando Acevedo (Victor Burgos), Carlos Orizondo (Manolo Cofresi), Talita Real (Norma Burgos), Mario Silva (Ramon “Monci” Reyes) and Analisa Velez (Iris Burgos).
LA GRINGA is directed by City Theatre’s Executive Director Gladys Ramírez. In the theater, she has directed, produced, and engaged with the community through performing arts, while in the museum sector, she curated public programs and educational events. With a focus on site-specific and immersive experiences, Gladys’s practice connects with South Florida's diverse and multicultural community. As a first-generation American born to Peruvian parents, she brings an intimate perspective to this production of Carmen Rivera’s LA GRINGA.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Carmen Rivera holds an MA in Playwriting and Latin American Theatre from New York University. Her OBIE-Award winning play La Gringa, just celebrated its’ 27th year anniversary in repertory at Repertorio Español. It is now the longest running Spanish language play in Off-Broadway history. Carmen co-wrote, with Cándido Tirado, Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz, (HOLA Award 2008, Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting), which played Off-Broadway at New World Stages and toured Florida, Chicago, Tenerife, Canary Islands and the Centro de Bellas Artes (Center for the Fine Arts) in Puerto Rico.
For detailed cast bios, click here.
*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Additional fees may apply. Visit arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.
Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.
Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.
Each year, we serve more than 60,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.
The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit arshtcenter.org.
About City Theatre
City Theatre, now in its 28th season, is an award-winning professional theater company based in Miami, Florida. Best known for its annual short play festival, SUMMER SHORTS, the company has produced hundreds of short plays by established and emerging writers discovered through its SUSAN J. WESTFALL NATIONAL SHORT PLAYWRITING CONTEST. City Theatre offers free educational initiatives, including the SHORT CUTS TOUR, empowering thousands of Miami-Dade students with issue-oriented plays, CITY READS, fostering short play development and lively discussions in our community, and the HOMEGROWN Playwright Development Program, creating opportunities for local playwrights and enhancing our cultural landscape. Its main stage is located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Carnival Studio Theatre. City Theatre was honored by the Carbonell Committee with the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award, recognizing significant contributions to South Florida theater for its dedication to the short form play format and fostering new play development. The company also received recognition from Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava, who declared June 9, 2021, as “City Theatre 25th Anniversary Day.” For more information, please visit www.citytheatre.com.