Pulitzer-winning playwright Nilo Cruz will have two plays premiering at Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s On.Stage Black Box Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Marc Richard Tousignant)
Desire ripples through the plays of Nilo Cruz, slipping past custom and convention, ignoring boundaries, embedding itself in characters parched with longing.
Miami’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, who arrived in South Florida in 1970 at age 10 on a Freedom Flight from Cuba, has been justifiably celebrated for the poetry that suffuses his stage language. But in many of his 15 plays, including the 2003 Pulitzer-winning “Anna in the Tropics,” desire simmers, then catches fire.
Certainly, that’s the case with a pair of commissioned Cruz world premieres that will debut at co-presenter Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s intimate On.Stage Black Box Theatre. Produced by Arca Images, the bilingual Miami theater company where Cruz has served as artistic director since 2013, the plays incorporate different kinds of daring from their author-director. But the language, the longing? Pure Cruz.
First up, and nearly sold out, is “Hotel Desiderium,” which has a five-performance run Nov. 18-21. The other world premiere, “Kisses Through the Glass,” is scheduled to follow in July 2022, with a run twice as long. Both plays are performed in English and had their premieres pushed back by the pandemic.
Arca founder and executive producing director Alexa Kuve understands the craving for a new Cruz play. And she appreciates the frustration likely to be felt by those unable to get a ticket to see “Hotel Desiderium” during its fleeting run at the in-demand, county-owned facility, which has reduced capacity in the interest of audience safety.