U-M student-directed production of 'Anna in the Tropics' on stage this week
This week, the University of Michigan department of theatre and drama will present a student-directed production of Nilo Cruz's "Anna in the Tropics," a play set in 1929 Florida, in a Cuban-American cigar factory, where cigars are still rolled by hand and "lectors" are employed to educate and entertain the workers.
The arrival of a new lector is a cause for celebration, but when he begins to read aloud from "Anna Karenina," he unwittingly becomes a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics and the American dream prove a volatile combination.
Cruz, whose plays include "Two Sisters and a Piano," "Lorca in a Green Dress," "Night Train to Bolina," "A Bicycle Country," and "Dancing on Her Knees," is one of the country's most produced Cuban-American writers. His work has been produced at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, The Joseph Papp Public Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre and the New Theatre in Coral Gables. An alumnus of New Dramatists, Cruz has taught playwriting at Brown and Yale universities. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Alton Jones Award and the Kesselring Prize.
Performances of "Anna in the Tropics" will be in U-M's Walgreen Drama Center, Studio 1, at 1226 Murfin Ave. in Ann Arbor, on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec 8 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.