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Destiny of Desire

May 19 - June 25

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits

The cast of Destiny of Desire, 2023. Photo by Jim Cox.

Destiny of Desire


May 19 – June 25, 2023

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

A Telenovela for the Stage
By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

The joys, tribulations, and plot twists of epic love are bursting onstage in this brilliantly funny homage to the telenovela by Karen Zacarías (Native Gardens). On a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico, two babies are born—one into a life of outlandish wealth, and one into a life of poverty. When the newborns are swapped by a ruthless ex–beauty queen, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into an extraordinary destiny. Directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s Jitney) and filled with vibrant choreography and live music, Destiny of Desire explores the emotional rollercoaster and social commentary that make the telenovela the most popular form of storytelling on the planet.

Destiny of Desire contains mature themes, violence, strong language, and the use of haze. Please note: this production is in English, with songs in both English and Spanish.

Total running time: Two hours and 40 minutes (two acts with one intermission).

Destiny of Desire is supported by major production sponsors Karen and Donald Cohn, Karen and Stuart Tanz, and Univision San Diego and production sponsors United.

Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminar: Tuesday, May 23 at 6:00 p.m.

Post Show Forum: Tuesday, May 30; Tuesday, June 6; and Wednesday, June 14.

Digital Program

Download the program PDF

Watch Destiny of Desire at The Old Globe!


“You don’t have to be an expert on telenovelas to enjoy Destiny of Desire, the hilarious and affectionate homage to Latin American TV soap operas. Fun, well-cast, and clever. The play is light, funny summer entertainment, and it offers something fresh for Old Globe audiences.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Engaging and wonderfully funny. If you miss this show, the plot twist may be that you’ll regret it.” —BroadwayWorld

“A triumph for The Old Globe and a tribute to the primetime genre it so lovingly portrays. Audiences are bound to be charmed.” —San Diego Story

Cast and Creatives



Karen Zacarías (Playwright) The Old Globe: Native Gardens. Upcoming: Shane (Cincinnati Playhouse, The Guthrie), Waiting for Snow Havana (New York), two Broadway-bound musicals, a studio film, more. Other plays: The Good One, The Copper Children, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, Just Like Us, Into the Beautiful North. Other work/honors: one of American Theater magazine’s “most produced playwrights,” core founder of Latinx Theatre Commons, 2020 American Artist Fellow, 2019 Washingtonian of the Year, Sine Institute Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University, 2019 Lee Reynolds Award for “social, cultural, or political change with theatre,” 2019 Medallion Award by Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, 2019 speaker at TEDxBroadway. www.KarenZacarias.com.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Director) The Old Globe: August Wilson’s Jitney (also Broadway; Outstanding Revival Tony, Drama Desk, OCC, Drama League, NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, plus five other Tony nominations). Directing: The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of the Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey, Cabin in the Sky, Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, First Breeze of Summer, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, others. Broadway acting: Seven Guitars, Jelly’s Last Jam, Stick Fly, Gem of the Ocean. Film: wrote, produced, starred in HBO’s Lackawanna Blues,based on his play; the movie received Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image, Humanitas, National Board of Review, Black Filmmaker’s Foundation, Christopher Awards. Other: Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY.

Lorna Ventura (Choreography) Broadway/New York: original cast member or associate choreographer in the original productions of Wicked, Grease, All Shook Up, Harlem Song, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Life. Collaborations: elite directors George C. Wolfe (Harlem Song), Joe Mantello (Wicked), Charles Randolph Wright (American Prophet), Jerry Mitchell (Grease), Kathleen Marshall (Nice Work if you Can Get It). This season: Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography this season for American Prophet at Arena Stage; associate choreographer for The Life at Encores! alongside Billy Porter; director, choreographer for the premiere of Christmas in Hell in Las Vegas at Renkus-Heinz Theater.

Ricky Gonzalez (Original Music, Arrangements, Orchestrations, and Music Direction) (he/him/his) Multi-Grammy-winning producer, arranger, first-call session musician, heard on many top-selling Latin tropical and Latin jazz albums. World tours: Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Celia Cruz, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colón, more. Musical arrangements: Diana Ross, George Benson, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Vanessa Williams, others. Television: “SNL,” “American Idol,” “Tonight Show,” “The View,” “Good Morning America,” ”CBS Morning Show,” “Today Show,” “Grammy Awards,” “Latin Grammy Awards,” “Billboard Awards,” “Rosie O’Donnell Show.” Film (soundtrack): Mambo Kings, My Blue Heaven, others. Commercial: produced “I Like It Like That,” featured in ads for ABC, Verizon, Burger King. Education: Pro Musica Honors, Sydney Zolot Award for Composition at CCNY, studied Composition at Juilliard. yamaha.com/artists/rickygonzalez.html.

Rachel Hauck (Scenic Design) Broadway: Good Night, Oscar, Hadestown, How I Learned to Drive, What the Constitution Means to Me, Latin History for Morons. Recent credits: Sandra (Vineyard), The Little Prince (Guthrie), Swept Away, The Waves in Quarantine (Berkeley Rep), The Wrong Man (MCC), The Garden (Baltimore Center Stage, La Jolla Playhouse), Hurricane Diane (NYTW). Honors: Princess Grace, Lily Awards; Drama Desk, Lortel Award nominations; Obie Award for Sustained Excellence; Jeff Award for Good Night, Oscar; Tony Award for Hadestown.

Karen Perry (Costume Design) Broadway: Lackawanna Blues. Off Broadway: Raisin in the Sun (NY Shakespeare Festival), runboyrun, In Old Age (NYTW). Regional: The Garden (La Jolla Playhouse), My Lord, What a Night (Ford’s Theatre), Breath, Boom (Huntington Theatre), Black Superhero Magic Mama (Geffen Playhouse), Cabin in the Sky (Encores!), Blues for an Alabama Sky (Pasadena Playhouse), Crowns, stop. reset., Trinity River Trilogy (Goodman Theatre), The Trip to Bountiful, The Fall of Heaven (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), The Brother/Sister Plays (The Public Theater), many more; nine of the 10 August Wilson Century plays (not yet designed Fences). Television/film: “Gregory Hines Show,” “SNL,” The Brother from Another Planet. Honors: Lucille Lortel, Ovation, CDG, Ace, Hewitt, Emmy, AUDELCO Awards and nominations.

Jane Cox (Lighting Design) Long-standing collaborations include Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Doyle, Elise Thoron, Shariffa Ali, Caitríona McLaughlin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sam Gold, Monica Bill Barnes. Honors: Tony nominations for Macbeth, Jitney directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Machinal. Other roles: Director of the Program in Theater at Princeton University, including organizing and designing a series of events around returning citizens in conjunction with performances of Felon: An American Washi Tale by Reginald Dwayne Betts. Further work: co-organizer of the design symposium Sound and Color: The Future of Race in Design at Park Avenue Armory in 2023. janecoxlight.squarespace.com.

Robert Kaplowitz (Sound Design) Passionate about the intersection of story, society, and deliberately curated sound. Works: 28 years as a sound designer and composer for theatre, opera, art installations, film; numerous seasons with James Houghton at Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Honors: Tony Award for Fela!, Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. Other: faculty at Princeton, co-founder of We Embrace Fatherhood. weembracefatherhood.org.

Hana S. Kim (Projection Design) Broadway: The Old Man & The Pool (LCT), Summer, 1976 (MTC). Off Broadway/New York: The Harder They Come, The Visitor (Lucile Lortel nom), Eve’s Song (The Public Theater), Everything Rises (BAM), Magdalene (Prototype Festival). New music/opera: Sweet Land (The Industry), The Anonymous Lover (LA Opera). Regional: Geffen Playhouse, OSF, South Coast Rep, Magic Theatre, ACT, others. Awards:Princess Grace Award, Sherwood Award from CTG, Helen Hayes Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Distinguished Achievement Award, others. hananow.com.

ARC (Casting) Broadway/New York: Life of Pi, Chicago, The Lion King, Paradise Square, Hadestown (Artios Award), Rock of Ages, The Lightning Thief, Great Comet of 1812, Elf, On the Town, Pippin, La Cage.Television/film: Netflix, 20th Century Fox, NBC, Lionsgate, Disney Channel. West End/U.K.: Hadestown, Thriller Live, Menier Chocolate Factory. Other: numerous regionals, tours. ARC, part of RWS Entertainment Group.

Rachel Flesher (Fight Director and Intimacy Staging) The Old Globe: Dial M for Murder. Theatre: Cassils’s Human Measure (REDCAT), There’s Always the Hudson (Woolly Mammoth), Relentless, Twilight Bowl (Goodman Theatre), Kill Move Paradise, Rutherford and Son, In the Next Room (TimeLine Theatre), The Pillowman, Wolf Play, Hang Man (Gift Theatre), The Most Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, The Burials, Constellations (Steppenwolf Theatre). Television: intimacy coordination for shows on Netflix, FX, Fox, HBO, Paramount+, CBS, Hulu, Showtime, ABC. Honors: SAG-recognized Intimacy Coordinator, certified Intimacy Director and Intimacy Coordinator, certified Fight Instructor, Fight Director with Fight Directors Canada.

James Latus (Production Stage Manager) The Old Globe: Rain, King Lear, The Madness of George III, Taming of the Shrew. Broadway: The Collaboration, The Kite Runner, Oklahoma!, True West, Farinelli and the King, Time and the Conways, Indecent, Jitney, All the Way, A Time to Kill, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Stones in His Pockets, Bells Are Ringing, The Capeman. The Public Theater: 20 productions downtown; most recently The Visitor with David Hype Pierce, directed by Dan Sullivan; 14 productions at Delacorte Theater. Other: numerous Off Broadway, regional productions.

Anjee Nero (Production Stage Manager, June 6–25; Stage Management Swing) The Old Globe (as Production Stage Manager): Come Fall in Love, Almost Famous, The Gardens of Anuncia, The Heart of Rock & Roll, Bright Star, Allegiance, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Benny & Joon, October Sky, Rocky Horror Show, Life After, The Wanderers, Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show, The Twenty-Seventh Man, A Room with a View, Kingdom, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Be a Good Little Widow, more. Broadway: Bright Star. Regional highlights: Bright Star (Kennedy Center), Fly, Sideways, Ruined, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Herringbone, The Seven (La Jolla Playhouse), Ruined (Huntington Theatre, Berkeley Rep), Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), Venice (Center Theatre Group), Antigone (SITI Company).

Amanda Salmons (Assistant Stage Manager) The Old Globe: The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Come Fall in Love, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Life After, The Blameless, American Mariachi, October Sky, Rain, The Metromaniacs, The White Snake, Inherit the Wind, over 30 more productions. Regional: Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), The Foreigner, See How They Run, The Rivalry (Lamb’s Players Theatre), The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, Candide, Trial by Jury (Lyric Opera San Diego). Education: UC San Diego.

Kendra Stockton (Stage Management Swing, June 6–25) The Old Globe: The XIXth, Come Fall in Love, The Taming of the Shrew, Trouble in Mind, Hair, Almost Famous, As You Like It, The Gods of Comedy, Familiar, Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas, Much Ado About Nothing, Benny & Joon, October Sky, Bright Star, Dog and Pony, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (as production assistant). Regional: House of Joy (San Diego Rep), Home of the Brave, #SuperShinySara, Guards at the Taj, The Orphan of Zhao, The Who & The What (La Jolla Playhouse), The Loneliest Girl in the World (Diversionary Theatre), miXtape (Lamb’s Players Theatre), White Christmas (San Diego Musical Theatre).


Ricky Gonzalez
Conductor, Keyboard
Ella Bric
Christian Moraga
Greg Armstrong
Healy Henderson
Orchestra Contractor