Miami Festival Honors Cuban Playwright

HAVANA TIMES — The first “Virgilio Piñera International Theatre Festival” is being held in Miami from August 17 to September 22 under the title “Un fogonazo del absurdo” (An Explosion of the Absurd), in honor of the centenary of the birth of the prolific Cuban playwright.

The site of the festival will be the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at the University of Miami, and will present five plays by Piñera, which will be performed by artists from Cuba, Spain and the United States.

The opening ceremony featured the Cuban dramatic group Argos Teatro with its version of Aire frio, directed by Carlos Celdran, while today begins the start of El juego de Electra, a version of Electra Garrigo, by the Mephisto Teatro y Artes y Producciones Artisticas (Spain).

According to the Café Fuerte website, some 30 people (including artists and theater scholars) traveled from the island to participate in the festival’s sessions, which celebrate the most important 20th century Cuban playwright and an essential figure in Latin American literature.

Piñera is considered the founder of modern theater on the island, where he lived his last years ostracized and marginalized by the government’s cultural policy in retaliation for the questioning nature of its works and for his homosexuality.