La Gringa (English)

by  Carmen Rivera

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 3f

"90 minutes of laughter [...] Carmen Rivera has captured the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience." - The New York Times

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La Gringa (English)

by  Carmen Rivera

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Obie
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

La Gringa is about a young woman’s search for her identity. Mari­a Elena Garcia goes to visit her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and arrives with plans to connect with her homeland. Although this is her first trip to Puerto Rico, she has had an intense love for the island, and even majored in Puerto Rican Studies in college. Once Maria is in Puerto Rico, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans on the island consider her an American – a gringa – and Mari­a considers this a betrayal. If she’s a Puerto Rican in the United States and an American in Puerto Rico, Maria concludes that she is nobody everywhere. Her uncle, Manolo, spiritually teaches her that identity isn’t based on superficial and external definitions, but rather is an essence that she has had all along in her heart. This play is published in a bilingual edition; if you are applying for licensing rights, please state which version you wish to produce.

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Reviews

"90 minutes of laughter [...] Carmen Rivera has captured the spirit of the Puerto Rican experience." - The New York Times

"Carmen Rivera's deft playwriting delivers Maria from her personality crisis with spiritual transcendence." - The Village Voice

"Carmen Rivera has succeeded in giving voice to the cultural search of Puerto Ricans raised in the Tower of Babel." - El Diario La Prensa

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: The play takes place in the countryside of Puerto Rico. The set should NOT be realistic though - minimal furniture - maybe 2 chairs. One wheelchair for the character of Manolo, who is ill. Budget permitting, this is a play that does well with the "lights" providing the establishment of place and transitions.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

3m, 3f
MARÍA ELENA GARCÍA – 22 year-old Puerto Rican-American woman, born and raised in New York City; considered a “Nuyorican;” young and naïve
MANOLO COFRESÍ – early 60s, her uncle; had dreams of pursuing acting when he was young; although he is very ill and near death, he possesses a lively spirit and a great sense of humor
IRIS BURGOS – María’s cousin, 24 years old; extroverted and a bit jealous of her cousin María
NORMA BURGOS – María’s aunt, Iris’ mother, and Manolo’s sister, late 50s; never pursued her dream of being a singer and lives with much bitterness and resentment in her spirit
VÍCTOR BURGOS – Norma’s husband, early 60s; possesses a great deal of positive energy and has a huge capacity for love
RAMÓN “MONCHI” REYES – a neighbor, 24 years old; has an entrepreneurial spirit; started his own farm and falls in love with María.
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Latino Actor(s)
  • Ensemble cast
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

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Authors

Carmen Rivera

Carmen Rivera holds an MA in Playwriting and Latin American Theatre from New York University. Her OBIE-Award winning play, La Gringa, just celebrated its 16th year anniversary in repertory at Repertorio Español. It is now ...

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La Gringa (Spanish version) opened at the Spanish Repertory Theatre in February of 1996. That year the play won an Obie award and it is still in repertory as of 2012. It is the longest running Off-Broadway Spanish language play. Both Spanish and English versions are available at Samuel French.

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