Theater Emory presents José Rivera's "Marisol"

March 11, 2015

Theater Emory closes its 2014-2015 season ¿Global Perspectives: A Festival from Pinter to Rivera¿ with ¿Marisol,¿ the magical and highly charged comic play from Oscar nominee and OBIE award winner, José Rivera. Directed by Atlanta¿s David Crowe, Theater Emory¿s ¿Marisol¿ opens April 2 and runs through April 12 in theMary Gray Munroe Theater.

Set in post-apocalyptic New York, Rivera¿s urban fantasia tells the story of Marisol Perez, a young Puerto Rican woman whose world is in social upheaval because of a senile, inattentive God. Left without divine protection from the rapidly deteriorating world around her, Marisol grapples with the choice to forsake her faith in order to participate in the healing of her city or continue to put her trust in God.

¿¿Marisol¿ reads as a religious apocalyptic fantasy, but it¿s actually a very smart play about contemporary politics and society,¿ explains Crowe. ¿It¿s a play about the dangers of extreme conservatism and the healing power of acceptance.¿

The cast includes Atlanta professionals Christy Baggett, Danielle Deadwyler, Veronika Duerr, and Brandon Partrick with Emory student Natalia Via as Marisol. Brent Glenn (sound), Mary Parker (lighting), Leslie Taylor (scenery), and Alan Yeong (costumes) create the smoldering and surreal urban wasteland of Rivera¿s New York.

In the second week of the run, Rivera will be in residence on campus for a short period during which he will visit theater studies and creative writing classes and explore some of his newer work with students. Audiences have a chance to hear from Rivera as well during a post-show conversation with the playwright following the April 8 performance of ¿Marisol.¿

¿When I stepped into the position of artistic director for Theater Emory, I had a wish list for projects,¿ explains Janice Akers. ¿Bringing José Rivera back to the Emory campus was one of them.¿

Rivera, who studied with Gabriel García Márquez at the Sundance Institute, is well known for his magical realist style and is a favorite of young theater artists. ¿They think his writing is exciting and raw and that his magical world opens up so many possibilities for interpretation,¿ says Akers. ¿He fires up the imagination, but what he has to say is meaningful: How are we existing together and whose voices are getting trampled and ignored?¿

Performances of ¿Marisol¿ are April 2-4 and 8-11 at 7 p.m., April 5 at 5 p.m. and April 12 at 2 p.m. in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater of the Dobbs University Center. This production is intended for mature audiences. There will be a post-show conversation with director David Crowe April 3 and with playwright José Rivera April 8. Tickets are $20 general admission, $16 discount category members, $6 Emory students and are available at the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. For more information visit


Theater Emory
Theater Emory, the professional company in residence at Emory University, produces a wide range of drama, from classics to new works. Liberal arts undergraduates work with professional directors, actors, designers, playwrights, dramaturgs, choreographers, composers, music directors and stage managers.