Messy love drama Ana in the Tropics premieres Friday

Ana in the Tropics
Photo by Emma McMillen

Byline: Emma McMillen and Sergio Gutierrez 

Murder, adultery and cigar rolling. An ensemble cast of theatre students, alumni and faculty will showcase the juiciest play of the semester this weekend.

Anna in the Tropics, written by Nilo Cruz, will premiere this Friday at 7 p.m. in Phillips Hall Theatre.

Anna in the Tropics follows a Cuban family living in Prohibition-era Florida, working in a cigar factory. More specifically, it highlights the chaos caused by their newly hired lector, Juan Julian, as he reads the Russian novel Anna Karenina to them and inspires them to explore affairs of their own. 

“It’s one of those shows that kind of slaps you in the face. At first, it’s like what’s happening? And then the more you sit with it, it’s like all of these stages of love,” says Naylea Castro, who plays Conchita.

This drama dives deep into the characters own views of love and how a relationship should be between two people.  

The bilingual script will be spoken in both Spanish and English. “We’ve been trying to find plays by Latino playwrights, more bilingual plays,” said William Mittler, the director and an adjunct professor of theatre at Santa Ana College. “Traditionally we had not been reflecting the community, so that’s what I wanted to do.”

Anna in the Tropics will run Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday April 24 at 2 p.m. Saturday’s performance includes an ASL interpreter. Tickets are $10 for the general public, and $7 for staff and seniors, but all students and military will be admitted for free. Click here to buy tickets.


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