Nilo Cruz

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Nilo Cruz
Nilo Cruz 2007 PPerformance.jpg
Nilo Cruz at Dartmouth College, March 5, 2007
Born 1960 (age 53–54)
Matanzas, Cuba
Occupation Playwright
Nationality United States / Cuba
Alma mater Miami Dade College
Brown University
Information
Notable work(s) Two Sisters and a Piano
Magnum opus Anna in the Tropics
Awards Pulitzer Prize for Drama (2003)

Nilo Cruz (born 1960) is a Cuban-American playwright and pedagogue. With his award of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, Anna in the Tropics, he became the first Latino so honored.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Cruz was born to Tina and Nilo Cruz, Sr. in Matanzas, Cuba. The family immigrated to the "Little Havana" in Miami, Florida in 1970 on a Freedom Flight, and eventually naturalised to the United States. His interest in theater began with acting and directing in the early 1980s. He studied theater first at Miami-Dade Community College, later moving to New York City, where Cruz studied under fellow Cuban María Irene Fornés. Fornes recommended Cruz to Paula Vogel who was teaching at Brown University where he would later receive his M.F.A. in 1994.

Career[edit]

In 2001, he served as the playwright-in-residence for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he wrote Anna in the Tropics, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer and the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. A year later it received its Broadway premiere with Jimmy Smits in the lead role.

Some of the theatres that have developed and performed his works include New York’s Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Pasadena Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Alliance, New Theatre, Florida Stage and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Cruz wrote the book of the Frank Wildhorn/Jack Murphy musical Havana. Its scheduled world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse has been delayed by the theatre's declaration of bankruptcy in 2010.[2]

Cruz has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including two NEA/TCG National Theatre Artist Residency grants, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, San Francisco's W. Alton Jones award, a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays award and a USA Artist Fellowship.

Cruz is a frequent collaborator with Peruvian-American Latin Grammy composer Gabriela Lena Frank, collaborating on several projects. To date, they have completed a set of orchestral songs, "La centinela y la paloma" (The Keeper and the Dove), for soprano Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (premiered under the baton of Joana Carneiro in February 2011); "The Saint Maker" for soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and the Berkeley Symphony in May of 2013; and "Journey of the Shadow" for narrator and ensemble of eleven players (San Francisco Chamber Orchestra premiering in April of 2013.

Cruz is an alumnus of New Dramatists, has taught playwriting at Brown University, the University of Iowa and at Yale University. He presently lives in New York City and Miami.

Awards and Honors[edit]

In 2009, Cruz received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a distinguished American playwright in mid-career.

Work[edit]

Plays[edit]

  • Dancing on Her Knees (1994)
  • Night Train to Bolina (1995)
  • A Park in Our House (1995)
  • Two Sisters and a Piano (1998)
  • A Bicycle Country (1999)
  • Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams (2001)
  • Anna in the Tropics (2002)
  • Lorca in a Green Dress (2003)
  • Capricho (2003)
  • Beauty of the Father (2006)
  • The Color of Desire (2010)
  • Hurricane (2010)

Musicals[edit]

  • Havana - music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy, book by Cruz

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hilton Als (23 January 2006). "Ghosts and Hosts: Two Troubled Households". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Pasadena Playhouse files Chapter 11 petition". Los Angeles Times. May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]