Alex Torra’s ensemble-created, experimental performance work blends theater, dance, and music and invites audiences to consider the complexities of contemporary cultural identity, community, and humanity. He describes his creative process as highly collaborative and credits his “community-oriented upbringing” in a Cuban American family as a key influence on his interest in creating “an opportunity for communion” through his work. Torra’s most recent production, ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!, is a Spanish-language performance work that examines American privilege and the relationship between Cuba and the US, supported by a 2016 Center grant. In 2014, Torra launched an ambitious performance experiment titled The Sincerity Project, in which the same seven-person ensemble gathers every two years for 24 years to create a long-term, structured performance. He is co-founder and resident director of theater group Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, for which he has directed and co-created six theater pieces since 2010. As an associate artist with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Torra collaborated on Center-funded projects including Chekhov Lizardbrain and Welcome to Yuba City. He has been honored with a 2007 Princess Grace Award, a 2007 Oregon Shakespeare Festival Directing Fellowship, and a 2006 Drama League Directing Fellowship. He received his MFA in directing from Brown University.
Theater artist Alex Torra will present ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! or WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!, a Spanish-language, ensemble-devised performance work that examines "whiteness," American privilege, and the complexities of cultural identity. Drawing on Torra's personal experience as a Cuban American, the work "endeavors to make apparent the particularities of a certain corner of the current American landscape—that of the Latino American with one foot in their ethnic heritage and one in a dominantly white culture," he says. On stage, Torra will be joined by an ensemble of Cuban, Cuban American, and Caucasian American performers to present the work in a style inspired by old-world Cuban entertainment forms, including Havana's famed Tropicana Club Floor Show from the 1950s. The work will invite audiences to consider the relationship between Cuba and the US, and the impact of history, culture, and economics on Americans of Cuban descent.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*