Alumni Maria Alexandria Beech and Luis Moreno Impress with Ropes

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01-Apr-16
From left: Luis Moreno as Presley, the oldest brother; Varín Ayala as Paul, the middle brother;                  
and Gabriel Gutiérrez as Prince, the youngest brother.                  
 
The Two River Theater production of Ropes, Playwriting alumna Maria Alexandria Beech’s ’07 English-language translation of Mexican playwright Bárbara Colio’s play, received critical acclaim during its run from February 20 through March 20. Beech’s translation was part of the US/Mexico Playwright Exchange Program at the Lark.

The play featured Acting alumnus Luis Moreno ’06 as Presley, one of three brothers who are trying to come to terms with their estrangement from their internationally famous tightrope-walker of a father. The production received rave reviews from critics, including BroadwayWorld.com: “This exquisite piece of theatre is a thoughtful and entertaining portrayal of a family and the ties that bind them,” reads the glowing review. “Wonderfully written by Bárbara Colio, beautifully translated into English by Maria Alexandria Beech, this must-see play features superb direction by Lisa Rothe. The three man cast is outstanding and succeeds in bringing the true tenor of the story about complex relationships to life on the Red Bank Stage.” NJ.com called the production “subtle, tense, and frequently funny,” and the Two River Times enthised: “You will be roped in by one or more elements of Ropes. Guaranteed.”

Beech, a Venezuelan-American writer living in New York, was included in the Lark Play Development Center’s residency at New York Stage and Film in 2015. In 2014 she was invited by Primary Stages to the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival with her play Infinity Pond, which was co-commissioned by Primary Stages and Theater Masters; the play was also included in the 2014 Palm Beach New Play Festival. Her play Good Friends was selected for the 2014 Crossing Borders festival at Two River, where it was performed in English and Spanish (in her own translation), and was also included in the 2014 New American Voices Festival. Beech was a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages. She is a former member of the Hispanic Playwrights Lab at INTAR (Gloria). Other translations of hers, commissioned by the Lark Play Development Center in New York, include Luis Ayllon’s The Camels and Noe Munoz Morales Hitler in My Heart.

Moreno recently appeared as Harold Saxton in The Representatives’ Veritas at the Olmstead Salon. In New York, he has appeared on stage with La MaMa, Caborca, Classic Stage Company, Walkerspace, Ars Nova and Joe’s Pub, among many other institutions. Regionally he was worked at the Cincinnati Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Kansas City Rep and others. His television credits include The Mysteries of Laura, Daredevil, Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest and others. Moreno also records audiobooks for Recorded Books and Audible.

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