Columbia Theater Director Debuts United States of Banana

Colombian Film and Theater Director Juan Pablo Felix brings to the stage for the first time "United States of Banana"

By Columbia Stages Presents
Published on LatinoLA: May 4, 2015

Columbia Theater Director Debuts United States of Banana

Columbia Stages in New York City proudly presents the theatrical version of "United States of Banana", a Latin American modern classic by Giannina Braschi. For four night this summer, from June 17th to June 20th, 2015, Juan Pablo Felix, a director from Bogota will stage this radical work of inter-American politics.

In the work, Hamlet and Zarathustra join Giannina on a quest to liberate the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty, where he has been imprisoned by his father, the King of the United States of Banana, for more than 100 years for the crime of being born. The works tackles American politics of empire and independence, the post-9/11 psyche, and the immigrant's experience of marginality and liberation. The work depicts New York City as "the Darwinist capital of the Capitalist word" and U.S. imperialism as doomed as "a chicken with its head cut off". All Latin Americans are granted American passports, Puerto Rico is declared the 51st state, and then comes a revolution...

The play is free and open to the public.

JUAN PABLO F?ëLIX is a theater director, filmmaker, and acting coach from Bogot?í, Colombia. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and enrolled in the MFA Theater Directing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. He has staged "Uncle Vanya", "Two Sisters" and his own musical fairy tale "The Amazing Story of El Hombre Caim?ín!" He served as casting director for the Oscar-nominated film "Maria Full of Grace" and directs theater workshops at Estudio Babel in Colombia and EICTV in Cuba.

GIANNINA BRASCHI is the author of the postmodern poetry classic "Empire of Dreams," the bestselling Spanglish novel "Yo-Yo Boing!" and the dramatic epic "United States of Banana." Considered one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin American letters today, Braschi is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and holds a PhD in Golden Age Hispanic Literature. She has won awards/grants from PEN American Center, Ford Foundation, Danforth Scholarship, InterAmericas, Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, Reed Foundation, NY Foundation for the Arts, and the NEA. She has taught literature at Rutgers, Colgate, and City University of New York.

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