by Octavio Solis
directed by Cecilie D. Keenan
at The National Pastime Theater
October 4 – November 9, 2013
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
Sundays at 6:00 p.m.
(previews on October 1st, 2nd at 7:30 p.m., and October 3rd at 8:00 p.m.)
Tickets: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. Tickets will be available online at http://www.NationalPastimeTheater.com. Group rates available by calling box office at 773-327-7077.
Location: The National Pastime Theater in the Preston Bradley Center
941 W Lawrence Ave. 4th Floor in Chicago.
Transit: The curious and bold can discover us via the Red Line Lawrence train stop and bus routes 36, 81, 145 and 151 are all within 3 blocks.
Parking: $5 at Weiss Hospital parking at 4650 N. Clarendon. Voucher at box office
Lydia is the story of a Latino working-class family whose teenage children are first generation Americans. They hire an illegal immigrant nurse/maid, Lydia, to help care for 16 year old Cecilia who suffered permanent brain injury from a car accident. Lydia turns out to be a remarkable young woman who connects with Cecilia and sets out to heal the family of their strained distance from one another, subsequently revealing unexpected secrets. Set in El Paso, this play explores the Texas-Mexican border relations while blending fantasy and reality. The play features all Latino performers and emphasizes the difficulties and dreams of first generation Latinos growing up on the Texas-Mexican border.
Directed by acclaimed director Cecilie D. Keenan, the cast features Jessie David Perez, Rafael Franco, Matthew Harris, Sindy Castro, Rose Guccione, Nelson Rodriguez and Sarai Rodriguez.
Author of over 20 plays, Octavio Solis is considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. With works that both draw on and transcend the Mexican-American experience, he is a writer and director whose style defies formula, examining the darkness, magic and humor of humanity with brutal honesty and characteristic intensity. His imaginative and ever-evolving work continues to cross cultural and aesthetic boundaries, solidifying him as one of the great playwrights of our time. This production will give Solis a highly visual platform within Chicago theater and will help to bring Latino theater to a diverse population.
Director Cecilie D. Keenan has been active in the Chicago theater community for more than 20 years. She collaborated with the Goodman on El Nogalar during the 2010/2011 Season. Recently, Ms. Keenan directed the Jeff Award-winning Tobacco Road at American Blues Theater and Joel Drake Johnson’s End of the Tour at 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. Ms. Keenan has been instrumental in the growth of Teatro Vista, where her recent productions include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Our Lady of the Underpass. She has been a frequent director and sometimes artistic and/or managing director at many Chicago theaters, including American Blues Theater, Apple Tree Theatre, American Theater Company, Bailiwick, Northlight Theatre and Collaboraction, where she directed the highly acclaimed The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow.
In 2012 The National Pastime Theater celebrated twenty years as a Chicago theater company and live theatrical venue by moving into a larger facility located in the center of Chicago’s new Uptown Entertainment District. The National Pastime Theater produces plays with specific social commentary that provoke those watching to rethink their own actions and how these affect the people in their community. This spurs many to become an active part of their community, challenges social norms and enhances the way in which people interact. NPT uses spectacle, violence, sexuality, music, movement and language to bring our audience out of their own daily lives and into the world of the play. In addition to producing live plays, The National Pastime Theater is striving to become the premier theatrical and music venue in Chicago’s new Uptown Entertainment District.
(NPT Press Release dated September 3, 2013 at http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/443924/af3da12914/)
Chicago Stage Standard
“Rose Guccione as the matriarch who thinks that she knows everything that happens in the family home masks her character’s uncompromising core behind warm good humor and maternal care. Guccione delivers a finely balanced portrayal that captures all the facets of the character.”
Kerstin Brookmann, Chicago Stage Standard
– Clint May, Chicago Theater Beat
“While many plot points are dark and harshly delivered, Lydia’s stellar cast bring a vibrant humanity to the surprisingly relatable Flores family.”
– Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader
“When I stumble upon catching a stage work that is so very fresh, innovative and entertaining, along with a dose of emotion and passion to top off the audience experience, it leaves me ready and willing to shout about it from the rooftops. And this is indeed the scenario for National Pastime Theater’s well-conceived and riveting Chicago premiere of ‘Lydia,'”
“Rose Guccione is amazing as a controlling, yet caring mother with a certain edge”
– Philip Potempa, The Times of Northwest Indiana
“It’s not easy maintaining gravitas sufficient to prevent the action spinning out of control when emoting in telenovela proportions at a speed restricting the running time to a little over two hours ( with intermission ). Cecilie Keenan’s precision-drilled ensemble possesses the verbal dexterity to render the story’s disparate elements immediately comprehensible, as well as the disciplined stamina to keep the intensity flowing smoothly and seamlessly right up to a deliberately cynical ending reflecting the futility of resolution in a world defined by its unspoken confessions.”
Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times
“the interplay of the ensemble, particularly once Sarai Rodriguez’s mysterious Lydia arrives, allows us to invest in these broken and grieving souls who want nothing more than to be whole and healed.”
– Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune