Cygnet Theatre announces cast, and creative team of  ‘El Huracán’

Academy Award-winning playwright Charise Castro Smith and ‘El Huracán’ Director Daniel Jáquez. Photo courtesy of Cygnet Theatre

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–Cygnet Theatre has announced the cast and creative team of “El Huracán” by Academy Award-winning playwright Charise Castro Smith (Encanto). 

The mystical drama is directed by Daniel Jáquez and runs from January 25 to February 19 at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town. 

“El Huracán” is an exquisite lyrical drama that places four generations of Latina women at the center of a universal tale. Audiences are introduced to this family as an epic hurricane threatens Miami. A mother and daughter ready themselves for the storm as Abuela takes shelter in a world of memory, music, and magic. A powerful tale of family and forgiveness, El Huracán reveals what can be rebuilt in the aftermath of life’s most devastating tempests––and what can never be replaced.

El Huracán will receive its West Coast premiere and third-ever production at Cygnet Theatre following its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2018.

The cast includes Amalia Alarcón Morris (Valeria), Christopher Cruz (Fernando/Theo), Manny Fernandes (Alonso), Catalina Maynard (Ximena), Carla Navarro (Alicia/Dr. Kempler), and Sandra Ruiz (Miranda).

In addition to direction by Jáquez, the creative team for Cygnet’s production of “El Huracán” includes scenic and projection design by Yi-Chien Lee, lighting design by Elba Emicente Sanchez, sound design by Eliza Vedar, props design by Teresa Jove, costume design by Daniella Toscano, wig and makeup design by Peter Herman, casting by Kian Kline-Chilton, and stage management by Hannah May and Chandra R.M. Anthenill.

Castro Smith is a Latinx playwright and writer originally from Miami. She spent the last two years co-writing and co-directing the theatrical Disney animated film “Encanto” which features music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. She has worked on many TV series including “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix, “Sweetbitter” on Starz, and “The Exorcist” for Fox. Her pilot “The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez” was shot at ABC. 

She is a prolific playwright whose plays include ‘El Huracán’ (premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre), ‘Estrella Cruz: The Junkyard Queen’ (Ars Nova/Halcyon Theatre), ‘The Hunchback of Seville’ (Washington Ensemble Theatre/Trinity Repertory Company), ‘Washeteria’ (Soho Rep), and ‘Boomcracklefly’ (Miracle Theatre). She is a recipient of a Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists and is an alumna of Ars Novas Play Group and The New Georges Jam. She holds an M.F.A from Yale School of Drama.

“I’m always trying to hook into these really primal questions that I have trouble answering in my own life. Trying to work it out and try to answer them…or try to get closer to answering them as I’m writing, ” said Castro Smith in an interview with Jáquez. “To me this play is about loss and grief and how people react to that, and how they react sometimes really poorly to those emotions. But it is also really funny! There are two characters who are falling in love, and there’s playfulness and joy and color and fabulousness in it too. There’s this deep stuff going on but it’s also a pleasurable and joyful play to watch at the same time.”

Daniel Jáquez, is an award-winning director, translator, and theater-maker. He has directed and produced shows in New York, regionally, and internationally. Jáquez premiered work by renowned playwrights Karen Zacarías, Marisela Treviño, Migdalia Cruz, and Magdalena Gómez and has developed plays by visionaries Andrea Thome, Quiara Hudes, and Virginia Grise, among others. Jáquez is co-Founder of TuYo, a San Diego company producing theater from a Latinx perspective. He is an Associate Artist with Bocón Arts where he recently directed the well-received, dual-language production of Mía in Barrio Logan. For The Old Globe, Jáquez directed the tour of The Winter’s Tale and devised La Muerte R.I.P. and Hermanas for Arts Engagement. He is a Classical Directing Fellow. 

In New York, Jáquez worked as director and co-founder of Unit 52 (Intar Theatre’s collective), director of Intar/Jerome Foundation’s NewWorks Lab, and co-founder and artistic director of Calpulli Mexican Dance. In Oregon, he served as interim artistic director of Milagro Theatre. Jáquez is a member of SDC and the Latinx Theatre Commons. His teaching experience includes UCSD, Manhattanville College, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Sarah Lawrence College. Jáquez earned a Directing MFA from the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas.

Tickets for “El Huracán” are on sale and may be purchased in person at the box office located at 4040 Twiggs Street in San Diego Old Town Historic State Park, by calling (619) 337-1525 or by visiting Regular ticket prices start at $30.



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