Written by Andrea Thome
Directed by José Zayas
Original Music by Sinuhé Padilla
World Premiere: February 6-March 28, 2020*
*The COVID-19 pandemic hit halfway through our five borough tour of Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes), forcing the production to close on March 13, 2020 for the safety of our performers, team, and audiences.
About the Show
Inspired by interviews with undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in New York, the piece takes the form of a fandango, a community celebration where stories are brought to life through live performance, music, and dance.
On the eve of city-wide ICE raids, a group of immigrants gather in an undisclosed community center in NYC for a fandango. As fear encroaches — fear for family left behind in their home countries, fear for loved ones in the middle of their dangerous journey to New York, fear of leaving the sanctuary of the community center simply just get a bag of ice — a sense of camaraderie builds between the participants. Strangers become friends, friends become family, and the fandango plays on.
We are excited to be working with The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland on virtual programming this fall and plan to tour to both these sites and others in a national tour in Fall 2021!
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland is creating the NextNOW and building the future of the arts by educating, training and presenting the next generation of artists and creative innovators. By shaping NextNOW audiences, experiences and artists, The Clarice breaks through traditional boundaries in art-making and audience development.
If you’d like to learn more about the creative team and the making of the show, check out the digital program from our five borough tour in winter 2020 and the Fandango episode of our Uncommon Voices series on ALL ARTS:
Scenic & Projection Design
Fabian Fidel Aguilar
Elsie Stark/ Stark Naked Productions
Mariana Carreño King
Community Engagement Coordinators
Performances are in English and Spanish with supertitles, making it fully accessible to Spanish and English-speaking audiences. During our 5 borough tour, we partnered with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, who had a booth at select performances, which provided both immigrants and allies with resources and actionable steps.
We’re grateful to all the actors who have contributed their time and talent to the development of the piece since its inception in 2017: Carlo Alban, Sonia de los Santos, Laura Gómez, Claudia Logan, Janio Marrero, Rocío Mendez, Andrés Muñar, José Joaquín Pérez, Tonya Pinkins, Diana Pou, Emma Ramos, Liz Ramos, Reza Salazar, Efrén Sánchez, Gabriel Torres, Rocky Vega, Rosanny Zayas
Support for the piece comes from
Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes) was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project, Ari Edelson, Artistic Director
Eileen Reyes Arias, Luis Reyes Cardeñas, Zafi Dimitropoulou, Richard Geduldig, Jacqueline Hernandez, Arturo O’Farrill, Jack Rico
May – September 2017
Andrea Thome conducted, transcribed and translated interviews with undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in New York
November 19, 2017
First public reading of the piece at Joe’s Pub, which was followed by a facilitated panel discussion moderated by Raquel Almazán
June 29 – July 9, 2018
The Creative Team was awarded a residency at The Orchard Project to continue development
December 13, 2018
Staged Reading now incorporating original songs by Sinuhé Padilla
Musicians: Argelia Arreola, Rudyck Vidal, Ximena Violante
January – June 2019
Continued development with actors and a focus on the music
Sometimes I think we are afraid of our own complexity (as individuals and as a country), and instead of embracing the multiplicity, which is our nature and our history, we reject it, run away from it towards a simpler story, a myth of our history as one of homogeneity. But the truth of our history–our story as a nation–is quite the opposite. We have always been a site of multiplicity, of many worldviews, cultures, people, voices, interacting and creating something new.
Creative Team Bios
Andrea Thome (playwright) is a Chilean/Costa Rican-American playwright. Her play Pinkolandia, received the Lark Play Development Center’s Launching New Plays fellowship and a rolling world premiere at INTAR, Austin’s Salvage Vanguard Theater, Two River Theater (NJ), and 16th Street Theater (Chicago). For the Public Theater, Thome created Troy with Public Works’ ACTivate Ensemble. Her plays include Undone (Queens College, Victory Gardens, Lark), Worm Girl (Cherry Red Productions). Her play translations have been produced by the Public, CTG, La Jolla Playhouse and others. Thome co-directs FULANA, an all-Latina satire collective, and has directed the Lark’s Mexico-U.S. Playwright Exchange Program since 2006. She’s a 2017 resident with SPACE on Ryder Farm and Keen Company, and was a New Dramatists resident from 2009-2016.
Sinuhé Padilla (composer & choreographer) is a Mexican musicologist, producer, composer, and artistic director. As Founder of Jarana Records, he has released productions for Sonia de los Santos, Adela y Lupita, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Mireya Ramos, Shae Fiol, Veronica Valerio, Sonando Sur, Bilingual Birdies, and Jarana Beat. He has directed Jarana Beat, winner of Best Folk Contemporary Band at the Mexican Music Awards 2015 and has received recognition from NYC for his contribution to Latin culture. He served as music writer and producer for National Geographic, Mundo (Firmes), Storyhunter TV, and The United Nations. Sinuhé leads fandangos across the country.
José Zayas (director) has directed over 100 productions in NYC, as well as regionally and internationally. Credits include: The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (BAM, Mass MoCa, US and European Tour), A Nonesuch Celebration (BAM), In The Name of Salome, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The House of the Spirits (Repertorio Español). He has premiered work by Caridad Svich, Thomas Bradshaw, Duncan Sheik, Taylor Mac, Andrea Thome, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Saviana Stanescu, Rob Urbinati, Catherine Filloux, Gerardo Cardenas, among others. Drama League Fellow, Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab, SoHo Rep Writers/Director’s Lab, NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors, lifetime member of EST, Resident Director: Repertorio Español. Born in Puerto Rico, Zayas graduated from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon. www.josezayasdirector.com