Occasional Play Reading Series: "Anna in the Tropics"

October 23, 2014 - 7:00pm
RCAH Theater
362 Bogue Street, Snyder-Phillips Hall
East Lansing, MI 48825
United States

On Thursday, October 23, the RCAH community is invited to the Occasional Play Reading Series, a periodic gathering of students, faculty, and staff in the RCAH Theater for reading, improvisation, and conversation. October's selected play is "Anna in the Tropics," by Nilo Cruz. Each event in the series is free and will begin at 7 p.m. If you're interested in reading, contact RCAH professor Lisa Biggs in advance at biggslis@msu.edu or at the start of the event.

The upcoming dates for spring semester include:

  • February 5: "the road weeps, the well runs dry," by Marcus Gardley
  • March 5: "In the Next Room," or "The Vibrator Play," by Sarah Ruhl
  • April 2: "The World of Extreme Happiness," by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

About "Anna in the Tropics"

In the 19th century when Cuban immigrants opened up hand-rolled cigar factories in Florida, they also transported the tradition of the lector. As workers rolled cigars, the lector read to them from the great literature of the day. Anna in the Tropics is set in 1929 in the Santiago Alcalar Cigar Factory in Tampa where mechanization threatens to transform, if not make completely obsolete, an industry and a company of cigar rollers and readers. The exiled factory laborers are divided in their loyalties as economic hardship and the pressure to abandon old traditions force the owners to adopt new, progressive manufacturing methods if they wish to stay in business. As the lector reads from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, a novel of adultery set in nineteenth-century Russia, the cigar rollers re-examine their lives. Jealousy, revenge and agonized love that once bubbled beneath the surface engulf the characters, forcing them to choose between a beloved past, and an unknowable, but seductive future. Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.