From David Ellenstein, Our Artistic Director

July 15, 2013

Dear Patrons,

As we head into our summer farce that will close a successful season 31, I wanted to share some thoughts with you about our recently closed production of BECOMING CUBA.

Unlike the usual fare we present, BECOMING CUBA was a commissioned world premiere. This means nothing existed before we began. Through generous donors, Jenie and Vin Altruda, we commissioned a playwright with a national reputation, Melinda Lopez, to create a work for us.  We held a developmental workshop ten months prior to rehearsal and we nurtured the progress as the play took shape.

Becoming Cuba

From start to finish, this journey was nearly two years. We were written up in the American Theatre Magazine and garnered national attention. I am happy to say it

is not over, as the play will now go forward to be produced at the prestigious Huntington Theatre in Boston. We have created a new work of theatrical art to add to the national canon. It has been an amazing experience.

The play and production was greatly challenging to North Coast Rep and to me personally as director. The script was changing as we rehearsed and the artists working on the piece had direct influence on the shape that it took. I am very proud of what we created and presented at North Coast Rep. Ms. Lopez learned so much from this initial production that will now be further refined and adjusted as it moves forward to another group of artists to interpret.

Though this is not our normal programming or process, this occasional departure into unknown territory is a healthy and wholly worthwhile path, as it inspires all of us to tackle new ideas and modes of achieving them. It is an intrinsic and important component of being a healthy and prosperous theatre arts organization that we hope to continue in the upcoming seasons.

I want to take this moment to thank each of you for supporting the journey of BECOMING CUBA. There is nothing more creative and exciting for a theatre company than to create something brand new. It is riskier, as there is no proven track record, and it is a leap of faith for the artists, the arts organization and the audience.  Your participation and willingness to be part of this creative process is essential and much appreciated.

Onward to what promises to be a quite excellent Season 32!

Warmest regards

David Ellenstein
Artistic Director

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debbie Roberts July 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I had the pleasure of seeing Becoming Cuba this summer. I always value theater that is original, presents a paradigm shift, an educational story, characters who uncover a sampling of all of my senses and emotions, a story that takes me to places I am unfamiliar with and direction that has been obviously painstaking in it’s metamorphosis. I applaud you, David Ellenstein, for stepping out of the box and presenting this new work. I hope your audiences will continue to afford you the support and opportunity to take more risks like this in the future. I look forward to hearing about the future path of this production and many more to come. Bravo!

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