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Anna in the Tropics

Anna in the Tropics
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Nilo Cruz
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 84
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 1559362324
ISBN-13: 9781559362320
Cast Size: 3 female, 5 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Anna in the Tropics is a full-length drama by Nilo Cruz. Set in Florida in 1929, Anna in the Tropics takes place at a Cuban-American family owned and operated cigar factory where cigars are still rolled by hand, families work the craft together, and workers are entertained by the voice of a "lector" that reads them stories as they work. When a new lector begins to read aloud from the tumultuous novel Anna Karenina, the story stirs family and factory into a frenzy. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

Anna in the Tropics shares the lives of a Cuban-American family working in a cigar factory living in the dawn of the Great Depression and how life may be upended in this fiery, sensual play. Set in Ybor City, during the Prohibition Era in 1929 in a Cuban-American cigar factory, where tensions between old traditions and new ways include the threat of new, mechanical cigar-rolling machine, loom over the factory workers who still labor to roll cigars by hand. Also in flux is the tradition of the "Lectore de Tabaqueres," a reader or "lector" employed to read out loud to the cigar rollers to break the tedium and pass the time. The arrival of Juan Julian, the new lector, is cause for celebration. But, when he begins to read aloud from Tolstoy's 's tragic romance novel Anna Karenina to the cigar rollers, he unwittingly becomes a catalyst of unintended emotions in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.

Anna in the Tropics had its world premiere in 2003 at New Theatre's 104-seat space in Coral Gables, Florida. It came to national attention when Miami Herald critic Christine Dolen gave it a rave review. In fact, none of the Pulitzer judges had seen a performance of Anna in the Tropics; it won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama on the strength of its script alone. Its Canadian premiere was in 2004 at the venerable Centaur Theatre, the oldest English-language theatre in Montréal. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres and has been mounted by high schools, colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 3 female, 5 male

What people say:

"The words of Nilo Cruz waft from a stage like a scented breeze. They sparkle and prickle and swirl, enveloping those who listen in both a specific place and time — and in timeless passions that touch us all… In Anna in the Tropics, Cruz claims his place as a storyteller of intricate craftsmanship and poetic power… [Cruz] has turned out many wonderful plays — but none more shimmeringly beautiful than Anna in the Tropics." — Miami Herald

"In evoking the lost Cuban–American world of a Florida cigar factory in 1929, Mr. Cruz has created a work as wistful and affectingly ambitious as its characters. Anna in the Tropics reaches for the artistic heavens…." — The New York Times

"…enticing and exotic…entrancingly lovely…." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Nilo Cruz is a Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States. He was born in Cuba in 1960, and immigrated to Miami with his family when he was nine years old. He grew up in Little Havana, and studied theater at Miami Dade Community College; he earned his MFA from Brown in 1994. As playwright-in-residence at the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida he wrote Anna in the Tropics, and was the first Latino awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2003. He has taught drama at many universities, including Brown, Yale, and the University of Iowa.