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Destiny of Desire

May 19 – June 25, 2023
(Opening night: Friday, May 26)

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

An Unapologetic Telenovela in Two Acts
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 is supported by major production sponsors Karen and Donald Cohn and Karen and Stuart Tanz 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.

Cast and Creatives


Karen Zacarías (Playwright) happily returns to The Old Globe following Eddie Torres’s lovely production of Native Gardens. She’s hailed by American Theater ‘s magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. She’s currently working on an adaptation The Age of Innocence for the Old Globe, Shane for Cincinnati Playhouse and The Guthrie, and Waiting for Snow Havana for a New York production. She is also working on La Otra for the Latino Theater Company, two Broadway bound musicals and a studio film. Her other plays include, The Copper Children, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, Just Like Us, and Into the Beautiful North. A core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, Ms. Zacarías is a 2020 American Artist Fellow, 2019 Washingtonian of the Year, a Sine Institute Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University; and was selected by the League of Professional Theatre Women to receive the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award for “social, cultural, or political change with theatre.” She was awarded the 2019 Medallion Award by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America and was a 2019 speaker at TED XBroadway. www.KarenZacarias.com.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Director) Directing credits include: Skeleton Crew, Lackawanna Blues, Jitney, The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of The Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze of Summer and Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, among many others. Mr. Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in Jelly’s Last Jam. Other Broadway credits include Stick Fly and Gem of The Ocean. The multi-award-winning director/writer/actor wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues based on his OBIE and Helen Hayes Award-winning play. The movie received several honors including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Humanitas, National Board of Reviews, Black Filmmaker’s Foundation and Christopher Awards. In a career that spans over four decades, Ruben considers opening The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY as one of his proudest and most cherished accomplishments.


Publicity Photos

Playwright Karen Zacarías.
Playwright Karen Zacarías.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson.