Carmelita Tropicana & Ela Troyano (NYC)
Post Plastica
“Carmelita Tropicana lights up New York’s performance venues with colorful, hilarious, and brain-twisting narratives.” -Time Out New York

Part live performance, part video installation, this piece offers a glimpse into a future in which celebrity culture has pitched a battle between the primacy of virtual and artistic lives; in which revolutionaries keep bees in a secret underground; and in which a half-woman, half-bear scientist has gained the upper hand…

Featuring Becca Blackwell, Erin Markey, and Carmelita Tropicana. Production design by Aliza Shvarts, costumes by Yali Romagoza, and lights by Chris Hudacs. Film photography by Uzi Parnes.

Each evening will be begin at 6pm in El Museo’s El Cafe with complimentary pre-show talks featuring guest experts, curated by the artists. Performances begin in El Museo’s El Teatro at 7:30pm.

  • May 31 in the lobby Exhibit of Stereoscopic Images by Richard Pell from the Center for PostNatural History
  • June 1 in El cafe Meet the Celebrity: Fufurufu (a brown and black toy poodle) & Nao Bustamante give a lecture/demo
  • June 2 in El cafe Urban Beekeeping with Guillermo Fernandez, of NYC Beekeeping / BIRD BRAIN with Jennifer Monson, choreographer & artistic director of interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance (iLAND )
  • June 3 in El cafe Normal Is Good: Aliza Shvarts interviews Yali Romagoza, an artist who has recently arrived from Havana, Cuba

“Carmelita Tropicana has been lighting up New York performance venues with colorful, hilarious, and brain twisting narratives.” -Time Out

“… this Cuban spitfire cheerfully sticks her spike heels into both Cuban and American eyeballs.” – The Post

“Carmelita Tropicana is a great improviser; that persona always hold the chaos together.” – Village Voice

“This woman is funny… irreverent, spicy… and brilliant” -The Miami Herald

Carmelita Tropicana (a.k.a. Alina Troyano) is a performance artist, playwright, and actor. Troyano burst on New York’s downtown performing arts scene in the eighties with her alter ego, the spitfire Carmelita Tropicana and her counterpart, the irresistible archetypal Latin macho Pingalito Betancourt, followed by performances as Hernando Cortez’s horse and la Cucaracha Martina from her childhood fairytales in Cuba.
In Tropicana’s work, humor and fantasy become subversive tools to rewrite history. Tropicana’s performances plays and videos have been presented at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Centre de Cultura Contemporanea in Barcelona, the Berlin International Film Festival, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Dance Theater Workshop, the Mark Taper Forum’s Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Studio Museum of Harlem. Her work has received funding support from the Independent Television Service, the Jerome Foundation, and the Rockefeller Suitcase Fund. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships including the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, the Teddy Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and an Obie for sustained excellence in performance. In 2011 Performance Space 122 honored Carmelita Tropicana for her artistic contributions at its 30th Anniversary Gala.

Ela Troyano is a Cuban-born writer and director based in New York City. Her films, theater and performances have been shown at international venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, INTAR Theater, the Arsenal in Berlin, and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Seville. Her half-hour ITVS short, Carmelita Tropicana, won the coveted Teddy Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as the Audience and Critics Award at the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Her debut feature film, Latin Boys Go To Hell, remains an online cult hit and was recently broadcasted on Showtime. Both of these films were screened theatrically in the U.S. and at festivals in Europe, Australia and Japan. Troyano has also directed episodic action television for the drama series Reyes y Rey, produced by Stu Segall for Telemundo/Sony, and most recently the documentary La Lupe Queen of Latin Soul for PBS. She has also worked as a theater director on the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of A to B by Ricardo Bracho. Select awards include a United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship, funding from the Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, the New York State Council on the Arts and a Screenwriting workshop at Sundance with Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The Cast

Carmelita Tropicana See above for bio

Becca Blackwell recently seen in Young Jean Lee’s UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW as part of COIL ’12, Becca is a NYC performer known for pushing gender boundaries in their work. Recently worked with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, Theater of the Two-Headed Calf, Sharon Hayes, Michelle Handelman, and Erin Markey. They are also regulars on the web series JACK IN A BOX and GAY’S ANATOMY.

Erin Markey is a Brooklyn-based writer/performer. She recently starred in the NYC premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Green Eyes at the Hudson Hotel in NYC, and at the Ames Hotel in Boston. She is a series regular on LOGO’s Jeffery and Cole CasseroleTV show. Her solo musical, Puppy Love: A Stripper’s Tail played and extended as part of the SoloNova Festival. She is a company member of Half Straddle and her work in FAMILY was heralded as “the scariest performance of the year” in 2009 by Time Out NY. As a playwright, she was invited to the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and recently developed her newest work, The Dardy Family Home Movies by Stephen Sondheim by Erin Markey, which premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Kinotek Series in the Fall of 2011. As a cabaret and performance artist, she regularly presents work at Our Hit Parade with Kenny Mellman, Bridget Everett and Neal Medlyn at Joe’s Pub (The Public).

Photos by Ves Pitts and Uzi Parnes.

PS122 is proud to present our first production in partnership with El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution. A dynamic artistic, cultural, and community gathering place, El Museo is a center of cultural pride on New York’s Museum Mile.

Post Plastica was made possible with commissioning support from Performance Space 122.

May 31 – June 3, 2012
Co-presented by Performance Space 122
& El Museo del Barrio

5th Avenue at 104th Street, Manhattan, NY

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