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Recent News

Repertorio Español anuncia el estreno mundial de “En el tiempo de las mariposas”, una nueva obra de Caridad Svich basada en la famosa novela de Julia Álvarez bajo la dirección de José Zayas.

January 25, 2011

TEL. 1-212-225-9955 | PRESS@REPERTORIO.ORG

Repertorio Español is proud to announce the world-premiere of “En el tiempo de las mariposas” (In The Time of The Butterflies), a stirring new play by acclaimed US Latina dramatist Caridad Svich (“12 Ophelias,” “The Booth Variations,” “Iphigenia...A Rave Fable”) based on Julia Álvarez's best-selling novel, under the direction of José Zayas (“Southern Promises,” “Vengeance Can Wait,” “The House of the Spirits”).

The piece was commissioned by Repertorio Español and is the first ever stage adaptation of this renowned Latin American novel.

The production – presented in Spanish with live English translation – begins previews on Thursday, February 11, 2011 and will have its grand-premiere on Monday, February 21 at Repertorio Español’s historic Gramercy Arts Theatre located at 138 East 27th Street in Manhattan, NY.

About “In The Time of The Butterflies”:
Based on Julia Álvarez’s popular novel, “In The Time of the Butterflies,” is a fictionalized account of the story of the courageous Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic. The sisters inspired resistance cells throughout the country against the dictatorial regime of Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. The ‘butterflies’, their secret code name, were brutally murdered by the regime in 1960.

“In The Time of the Butterflies” is being translated to the stage for the first time by the talented duo – playwright Caridad Svich and director José Zayas– who brought to Repertorio's stage the critically acclaimed production of Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” in 2009. With immersive video and animation dispersed across the stage, the piece paints a visual dreamscape of the interior lives of the activist sisters, the beauty and ferocity of the natural world, and the music heard on the radio of the time.

Praise for Julia Álvarez's “In The Time of The Butterflies”:
“A fascinating and powerful picture of a family and a nation’s history."
-The Dallas Morning News
“A gorgeous and sensitive novel... A compelling story of courage, patriotism and familial devotion." -People

Tickets and Reservations:
Tickets for “In The Time of the Butterflies” start at $25 -discounts for seniors and students available – and may be reserved online by visiting; by phone 212-225-9999 or in person at Repertorio Español's Gramercy Arts Theater located at 138 East 27th Street New York, NY 10016 between Lexington and Third Avenues (Sun-Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri-Sat 9am-9pm).

About the Design Team and Cast:
“In The Time of the Butterflies” will feature innovative design elements including immersive video and animation by Alex Koch, original music and soundscape by Jane Shaw and transformational set and lighting design by Robert Federico. The production counts with the performances of newcomers to Repertorio's company of actors: Teresa Pérez Frangie, Dalia Davi, María Helán, Flor de Liz Pérez and Fermín Suárez, as well as Repertorio actresses Zulema Clares (“Captain Pantoja & The Special Service”, “Once Five Years Pass” and “Life is a Dream”) and Rosie Berrido (“The House of the Spirits”, “Letters to a Mother” and “Kiss Bessemer Goodbye”).

About Julia Álvarez (Author):
Although Julia Álvarez was born in New York City on March 27, 1950, her family moved to the Dominican Republic shortly after her birth, and it was there that she spent the majority of her childhood. In 1960, at the age of ten, her family emigrated to the United States, fleeing the Dominican Republic because of Álvarez's father's involvement with an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Trujillo dictatorship. In New York, Álvarez received her primary education in boarding schools and realized while in high school that she wanted to pursue a career as a writer. In 1967 she began studying at Connecticut College. After two years, she transferred to Middlebury College, where, in 1971, she received her Bachelor of Arts. Álvarez also attended Syracuse University, from which she received her M.F.A. in 1975.

The theme of being caught between two cultures can be found throughout Álvarez's work in her poetry as well as her fiction. She explored this cultural divide in her first novel, “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” (1991). Her audience continued to grow with her second novel, “In the Time of Butterflies”, published in 1994 which was made into a film with Salma Hayek. A versatile artist, Álvarez has created books for children, including “The Secret Footprints” (2000) and a novel for young adults, “Before We Were Free” (2002). She also writes essays and poetry. Her latest volume of poetry, “The Woman I Kept to Myself,” was published in 2004. Álvarez is married to Bill Eichner and lives in Vermont. She serves as a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.

About Caridad Svich (Playwright):
Caridad Svich is a U.S. Latina playwright, translator, lyricist and editor whose works have been produced across the U.S. and abroad at diverse venues including Denver Center Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, 59E59, The Women's Project, McCarren Park Pool, INTAR, 7 Stages, Salvage Vanguard, Teatro Mori (Chile), ARTheater-Cologne and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK. Key works include “12 Ophelias,” “Any Place But Here,” “Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues,” “Iphigenia...a rave fable,” "Instructions for Breathing" (2010 PEN Award in Drama finalist), "The House of the Spirits" (based on the novel by Isabel Allende), and the multimedia collaboration “The Booth Variations.” This spring her play “Magnificent Waste” receives its world premiere with Factory 449 collective in Washington D.C. She has translated nearly all of Federico Garcia Lorca's dramatic works as well as plays by Lope de Vega, Calderón de La Barca, Julio Cortázar and contemporary works from México, Catalonia, and Cuba. She has been a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, NEA/TCG Fellow at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre and a TCG/Pew Charitable Trust Fellow at INTAR. She is published by TCG, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, BackStage Books, Arte Público Press, Stage & Screen, and Manchester University Press. Svich is an alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press, Associate Editor of Routledge's “Contemporary Theatre Review” and Contributing Editor of “TheatreForum.” Svich is member of PEN American Center, The Playwrights Center, The Dramatists Guild, and affiliate artist at the Lark Play Development Center and New Georges. This versatile playwright is an entry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino History and holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego.

About José Zayas (Director):
This is José Zayas’ fifth production with Repertorio Español. His previous productions include "The House of the Spirits," “Letters to a Mother,” “Madre, el drama padre” and “Nowhere on the Border” which received numerous ACE & HOLA Awards. His production of “The House of the spirits” had its international debut at the Mori Theatre in Santiago, Chile, and will soon be presented in Argentina. In addition, his production of the same play at the Denver Center has won numerous Ovation Awards including best production and direction and was selected as best production of the year by the Denver Post. José Zayas was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon Universities. Zayas is co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Immediate Theater Company. He held a residency at the Ensemble Studio Theater and was selected as one of’s 2007 People of the Year. He is also a Drama League Fellow and an alumnus of Lincoln Center’s Director's Lab and Soho Rep Writer/Director's Lab and has received fellowships such as the Phil Killian, Kenneth Frankel, John Pasquin and Van Lier.

His theater credits include "Feeder" by JD Carter (TERRAnova Collective); "The Strangest" by Betty Shamieh (HERE Arts Center); "The Yellow Brick Road" by Mando Alvarado and Tommy Newman (TheaterworksUSA); "MILKMILKLEMONADE" by Joshua Conkel (APAC); “Southern Promises” by Thomas Bradshaw (PS122); "Okay" by Taylor Mac (Ensemble Studio Theatre); "Vengeance Can Wait" by Yukiko Motoya (PS122); "Again and Against" by Betty Shamieh (The Lark); "The Past Is Not a Foreign Country (Very) Personal Maps of Seattle" by Mallery Avidon (Soho Rep); "The Wasps" and "Tecmessa" by Ken Urban (Target Margin); "Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist" by Thomas Bradshaw (Brick Theater, 4 New York Innovative Theater Award Nominations); "Devil Land" by Desi Moreno-Penson (Summer Play Festival/Cherry Lane Theatre); "Crowns" by Regina Taylor (Virginia Stage Company). Zayas co-produced INTAR’s 2006 New Works Theater Lab. His credits as Assistant Director include “Talk Radio” directed by Robert Falls and starring Liev Schreiber; “Regrets Only” directed by Christopher Ashley; “Come Back Little Sheba” directed by Michael Pressman.

About Repertorio Español:
Repertorio Español, now on its 43rd season, was founded in 1968 to present the best of Latin American, Spanish and Hispanic-American theatre in distinctive, quality productions, and to bring theatre to a broad audience in New York City and across the country, including seniors, students and Hispanics of all national backgrounds. The organization has been awarded Drama Desk, OBIE and New York State Governor's Awards.

“In The Time of the Butterflies” is made possible thanks to the contributions of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Booth Ferris Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. José Zayas directs at Repertorio Español thanks to a grant provided by The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation.

CLICK HERE for a full performance schedule for "In The Time of the Butterflies"


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138 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
Tel. 1-212-225-9999