"Once Upon A Tra' in Puerto Rico" is a hybrid play which aims to celebrate Puerto Rico’s rich musical traditions while telling a story that explores how a whole generation decided to stop the assimilation and start the decolonization of their culture. I say the play is a hybrid, cause it’s easier to understand. It has big musical moments, but it is not a musical. It is a Puerto Rican story, and as such I want it to feel like a Puerto Rican is telling it. We use our hands, we are very musical and physical, and we say everything with deep passion to the point of beautiful ridiculousness. If you had a Puerto Rican tell you a story, you know what I am talking about, and that’s exactly how I want it to look on stage. The play takes place in three different years (1998. 2002, 2025) and follows Miguel as he tries to tell a story to his newborn but is confronted by his past selves who feel he is embezzling. As the three of them help each other tell the truth, the audience will experience Miguel’s growth while he navigates colonialism and his identity.
Nelson's Bio: Nelson Diaz-Marcano is a Puerto Rican NYC-based theater maker, activist, and community leader whose mission is to create work that challenges and builds community. He currently serves as the Literary Director for the Latinx Playwright Circle as well as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Atlantic Theater Company. His plays have been developed by Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Vision Latino Theater Company, The Orchard Project, The William Inge Theatre Festival, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Parsnip Ship among others. Recent credits include: Y Tu Abuela, Where is She? Part 1 (Vision Latino Theater Company) When the Earth Moves, We Dance (Clubbed Thumb,) Flor: A Podcast Series (Braata Productions,) The Diplomats (Random Acts Chicago,) Paper Towels (INTAR,) Misfit, America (Hunter Theatre Company,) I Saw Jesus in Toa Baja (Conch Shell Productions) and Revolt! (Vision Latino Theatre Company.)
Rebecca’s Bio: Rebecca Aparicio is an NYC-based director and writer of new work, dedicated to telling stories rooted in social and human justice. As a director, recent projects include: Jack and The Beanstalk (The American Repertory Theatre), Days of Re-Creation (Philadelphia Theatre Company), In The Heights (Live Arts). She’s also developed work with Classical Theatre of Harlem, Musical Theatre Factory, The Tank, Ars Nova, HERE, FringeNYC, The Flea, and more. As a writer, her award-winning musical Pedro Pan was developed by New York Musical Festival, Musical Theatre Factory, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, FringeNYC, and was originally commissioned by the Truf Theatre. Additional writing: Legacy (Prospect Theatre), The Garcia Sisters (Red Mountain Theatre), and Nora Saves The World (Barn Arts). Past Fellowships: Roundabout Theatre’s Inaugural Directing Group, an MTC Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow 2019-2020, and a two-time SDCF Observership Award recipient. Rebecca is a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, Latinx Playwrights Circle, and a founding member of Magic Forest Theatre, dedicated to creating new musicals for young audiences .www.RebeccaAparicio.com
Brief statement of the work we do:
We create work that exposes, celebrates, and explores Latinx life in America by truly delving deep into the culture and how it has affected the American landscape. Rebecca has helped me develop multiple plays including the award winning Radical, a play about the 1973 Chilean coup, and my soon to be produced World Classic, a play exploring the Nuyorican Diaspora through the questioning of two different generations about what it is to be American.