By Kasey Seifried
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Anna in the Tropics” will come to William Paterson next week.
The heartrending drama, which provides a glimpse into a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929 Florida, will play from Tuesday, Nov. 15, through Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Hunziker Black Box Theater.
The production is directed by Dr. Elizabeth Stroppel, a professor in the Communication Department.
Set in Ybor City, Nilo Cruz’s play follows a lector who reads the Russian novel “Anna Karenina” to cigar-rolling immigrants.
Reviewing the original Broadway production for the New York Times in 2003, theater critic Ben Brantley lauded the “earnestly poetic play” for its “currents of longing, thick with hope and hopelessness.”
“Mr. Cruz has created a work as wistful and affectingly ambitious as its characters,” Brantley wrote. “Anna in the Tropics’ reaches for the artistic heavens – specifically, that corner of eternity occupied by the plays of Anton Chekhov, where yearning is an existential condition.”
Amanda Baez plays Marela, the fresh-faced and vulnerable daughter of the cigar factory’s owner. She said the play includes “suspense and lots and lots of drama.”
“Love triangles are created in the workplace as well as other conflicts,” Baez said. “It is definitely unique and a must see for sure.”
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission is $15 for the public and $10 for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.