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August 14

Hattox Hall



Wednesday, August 14 at 6:00 p.m.

The Old Globe
Hattox Hall
Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

The Old Globe presents its newest show, Alma, in the New Voices in the Community series: free public performances at libraries across San Diego County, followed by conversations with the playwrights and experts in the community. Alma is written by Benjamin Benne, directed by Elena Araoz, and performed by Cynthia Bastidas and Alisha Espinosa.

Working mom Alma has singlehandedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida, and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A schooling and la chancla await Angel at home—but so does a creeping realization that more’s at stake than just a test score. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present; now, Alma fears that her worst nightmare may soon be their reality. Will the American Dream cost them a life together?

New Voices in the Community builds on the success of The Old Globe’s annual Powers New Voices Festival, which brings new work to the Globe’s stages every January. The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, and our work each day is to make theatre matter to more people. With the New Voices in the Community series, the Globe brings exciting contemporary playwrights to San Diego’s neighborhoods, collaborating with the San Diego library system to broaden the city’s access to new plays.

Additional Performances:

  • Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m., Chula Vista Public Library, Civic Center Branch, 365 F St, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Monday, August 12 at 4:00 p.m., Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch Library, 3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, CA 92154

Cast and Creatives



Benjamin Benne (he/him) is a playwright and puppeteer. Born and raised in Los Angeles County, he has lived in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest but now resides on the East Coast, where he is an M.F.A. Playwriting candidate at Yale School of Drama. Like Benne himself, his work has been seen coast to coast (and in a few points in the middle), at Boston Court Pasadena (California), Milagro (Oregon), Seattle Repertory Theatre (Washington), A Contemporary Theatre (Washington), Theatre Battery (Washington), Texas Tech University (Texas), Playwrights’ Center (Minnesota), Pillsbury House Theatre (Minnesota), Two River Theater (New Jersey), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Connecticut), The Playwrights Realm (New York), Lark Play Development Center (New York), and Roundabout Theatre Company (New York), among others. His gently poetic and quietly explosive plays—including at the very bottom of a body of water, q u e r e n c i a: an imagined autobiography about forbidden fruits, and Alma—feature vivid images that take on deep symbolic resonance; these works center on movement and sensory experiences of the human body to ask existential questions with wit and an expressionistic dramaturgy. He has been the recipient of American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Playwriting Award, The Kennedy Center’s KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award, the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award, Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Many Voices Fellowship, and the McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting. Benne is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency. benjaminbenne.com.

Elena Araoz (Director) most recently directed the critically acclaimed Off Broadway world premiere Original Sound. Her upcoming productions include the world-premiere opera I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams (White Snake Projects/Paramount Center), Migdalia Cruz’s Fur (New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door at NYTW/Boundless Theatre Company), and the national tour of Sugar Skull! (Mexico Beyond Mariachi), and she is in development with Richard Kagan on his commercial musical Havana Music Hall. Araoz’s other recent New York productions include Mac Wellman’s A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds (Next Door at NYTW), Kidnap Road (La MaMa), Alligator (New Georges/The Sol Project), Warren Leight’s Union Square Incident (The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway), The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project Theater), and María Irene Fornés’s plays The Conduct of Life and Mud, and Octavio Solis’s Prospect (Boundless Theatre Company). Her most recent regional productions include The Migration Plays by Mfoniso Udofia, Martyna Majok, Heather Raffo, Adam Gwon, and Karen Zacarías (McCarter Theatre Center), In Between (Walnut Street Theatre), Sweat (People’s Light), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), and Azaan (Oregon Symphony). Araoz’s opera credits include La Traviata (New York City Opera/Howard Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music), Lucia diLammermoor (Opera North), Falstaff and Così Fan Tutte (Brooklyn Philharmonic/Howard Gilman Opera House), and Latin Lovers (The Glimmerglass Festival). She is a faculty member at Princeton University. elenaaraoz.com.

Catherine María Rodríguez is a story shaper, performance maker, and culture shaker who serves collaboration, community, and lqqks wherever the art takes her and whatever stage it is in. Her craft entails bringing discernment to decision-making and joy to the process. She works from a structural analysis and draws on her skills as a trained facilitator to do so. Black/Latinx feminisms as well as collectivist organizing methods fundamentally inform her arts practice and pathways through the world. A bilingual artist, she has worked with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Next Door at NYTW, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, Yale Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, El Círculo Teatral in Mexico, Borderlands Theater, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, among others. She has organized alongside Unidad Latina en Acción in New Haven, New Sanctuary Coalition in New York City, and Education Based Latino Outreach in Baltimore. A freelance artist, she considers herself a nomad but always names New Orleans and Nicaragua home. catlikemeow.com, @latinadramaturg on Twitter.