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Release: Jan. 26, 2000

UI to host Cuban playwright Abelardo Estorino Feb. 2-5

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The eminent Cuban playwright Abelardo Estorino will visit the University of Iowa Feb. 2-5 and will give a public presentation Thursday, Feb. 3 about his current work being staged at the Repertorio Espanol in New York City. His presentation will begin by showing a video of one of his current New York productions, "Parece blanca," at 1 p.m. in Room 315 Phillips Hall on the UI campus. This will be followed by a lecture and discussion of Cuban theater today beginning at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Estorino was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1925 and has had a brilliant career in Cuban theater since the early 1960s. His first works for the theater were written in the 1950s, but he is pre-eminently associated with the experimental theater that developed after the Cuban Revolution. An early work, "El robo del cochino" (The Theft of the Pig) (1961) portrays conditions in rural areas of Batista's Cuba.

In 1964 he became one of the artistic directors of Teatro Estudio, which sought to deal with social issues while experimenting with theatrical time and structures. Some of his best known plays include "La dolorosa historia del amor secreto de don José Jacinto Milanes" (The Painful Story of Don José Jacinto Milanes' Secret Love) (1974) and "Vagos rumores" (Vague Rumors) (1992). His plays have been produced in Spain, Mexico, the U.S. and other countries. His "Morir del cuento" (Death by Short Story) (1984) won the grand prize at the Sitges Theater Festival in Spain in 1985.

Estorino lives in Havana, but has been in New York since September with the Repertorio Espanol working on the Nov. 1999 world premiere of, "El baile" (The Ball), and the Jan. 2000 U.S. premiere of "Parece blanca" (She Looks White), his adaptation of the classic Cuban novel "Cecilia Valdes."

The International Writing Program, the Latin American Studies Program, and the department of Spanish and Portuguese are co-sponsoring Estorino's visit.