Carlos Diaz (theater director)

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Carlos Diaz
Born Havana, Cuba
Movement Cuban culture
Performing arts

Carlos Diaz (born 1957) is a Cuban theatre director. Diaz studied dramaturgy and theatre at Havana's Superior Institute of Art (ISA). He started his career as a theatre and art critic and only later took on the role of director. His work is often described as unique and unexpected.[citation needed]


After founding a theatre company called Teatro El Publico in 1992, Diaz's first production billed "North American Theatre Trilogy" featured two plays by Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire), and one play by Robert Anderson (Tea and Sympathy). His company, which operates out of Trianon Theatre on Calle Linea, has premiered over 40 plays in the last 15 years and has become a Havana institution.

His work also includes the short stories "The Wolf", "The Forest and the New Man", and "Strawberry and Chocolate" of Cuban writer Senel Paz, which Diaz developed into plays, emphasizing the sensuality, expressiveness, and Cuban-ness of the stories. The play was then adapted into a film in 1994, starring the same actor Vladimir Cruz.

As for plays not written by Cubans, Carlos Diaz tries to work with material that has a certain connection to Cuba. In 1985, at the Ensayo Theatre, and again in 2007 at the El Publico Theatre, Diaz directed the Jean-Paul Sartre play The Respectful Prostitute; Sartre was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Cuban revolution. Still more Cuban, the production also offered Cuban rum to audience members, and invited them to dance on stage in a conga line at the end of the play. Diaz also directed Federico García Lorca's play The Audience which Lorca began work on in Cuba in 1929. Its opening in Havana in 1994 caused scandal as is portrayed homosexual scandal. Diaz chose to perform the controversial play a second in 1996 and then again in 1998.

Despite its Cuban emphasis, El Publico has found success during its trips to Ecuador (1994), Spain (1997), Colombia (1998), and Venezuela (2000). It has also toured throughout Cuba and is currently performing in a temporary location at theatre Adolofo Llayrado Theater on Calle 11, while its usual theatre El Publico is renovated.

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