May 25, 2016
By Joshua Barone
The Sol Project, a new initiative to raise the profile of Latino artists in theater, will make its debut in November with Hilary Bettis’s play “Alligator,” presented with the company New Georges.
The initiative plans to partner with 12 Off Broadway companies to produce one play per season. So far six companies have been announced: New Georges, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the Public Theater, Labyrinth Theater Company, Atlantic Theater Company and Women’s Project Theater.
Jacob Padrón, a producer with the Public Theater and the Sol Project’s artistic director, said in an interview that his inspiration for the project came from 13P, a playwriting collective, now defunct, that produced a play by each member from 2003 to 2012. Mr. Padrón added that he had more long-term ambitions — to expand with regional partners and “create a new canon” of Latino theater.
Pairing emerging and established playwrights with theater companies is the baseline of the Sol Project’s partnerships, Mr. Padrón said. It will also work to make creative teams more diverse. “Alligator,” for example, will have a Latina director, Elena Araoz.
The play — written by Ms. Bettis, a staff writer for the TV series “The Americans” — follows gritty twin orphans from the Florida Everglades. “We just found it to be such a provocative play,” Mr. Padrón said. “She’s asking profound questions about identity.”
Mr. Padrón founded the Sol Project with a collective of four other Latino artists and an honorary board that includes the actress Daphne Rubin-Vega, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz and the “Looking” actor Raúl Castillo. Next season it plans to produce a play with Rattlestick; the following year, with the Public. Future partners and productions will be announced later.
Source: The New York Times