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Cuba Libre: Politics & the Personal

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

Cuba Libre is a new musical that tells the collective stories of the Grammy-nomiated Tiempo Libre band members when they lived in Cuba during “The Special Period,” following the fall of the Soviet Union.  The musical was written by Cuban-born playwright Carlos Lacámara, and a primarily Latino creative team, many of whom are Cuban-American.

With a normalizing relationship between the U.S. and Cuba developing, there is much discussion and many questions about Cuba - past and present. Throughout the run of the play, patrons, critics and media have commented on the political nature of Cuba Libre. How do we understand the history behind the play and the politics that accompany it? What roles did the US embargo of Cuba, authoritarian rule, and the Soviet collapse play in the lives of the creators of the play and other participants? What were positive elements that arose from the Revolution? How does Cuba Libre paint a more universal, over-arching human story of migration, exodus and renewal and the pull between hope and hopelessness? This special panel discussion offers members of the Cuban and Cuban-American communities an opportunity to tell their own stories and bring perspective to the ideas, issues and big picture behind Cuba Libre.

Featuring Carlos Lacámara, Cuban-American actor, playwright of Cuba Libre; Jorge Gómez, Cuban American pianist, musical director for Tiempo Libre; Leandro Gonzalez, Cuban-American conga player for Tiempo Libre; Janet Dacal, Cuban-American lead actress in Cuba Libre; Ernesto Castellanos, Cuban-born instructor of Spanish, Portland State University, Department of World Languages
FREE and open to the public.

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