Playwright Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer prize-winning play, Anna in the Tropics (2002), explores the hopes and dreams of a Cuban-American family when their lives are upended by the arrival of a Cuban lector, who reads Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to them as they work in their cigar factory. His other plays include Lorca in a Green Dress (2003), a fantasia on the life and legacy of Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, and Two Sisters and a Piano (1996), inspired by the life of Cuban dissident writer Maria Elena Cruz Varela, who sent a manifesto to the Cuban government in support of Perestroika; Cruz’s play follows two sisters under house arrest in Cuba for writing a similar manifesto. He received an MFA from Brown University in 1994 and has taught at Brown, Yale School of Drama, and the University of Iowa. Cruz is also a recipient of a Steinberg Award, Kesselring Prize, and the Kennedy Center Award for New American Play. His plays offer compelling poetic considerations of Cuban, Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. Latina/o cultures.
Portrait courtesy Jeniffer Riley.