Magnificence, bears and rock and roll

By CHRISTINE MARTIN

YULAN, NY – C. Julian Jiménez is a queer, Puerto Rican and Dominican playwright. And Lou Moreno is the inventive director and producer of the INTAR Theater, which for many years has produced workshops and world premieres on performs by Latin playwrights and artists. Each Jiménez and Moreno are residents of Yulan, within the city of Highland.

They carry the well-known rock opera “Oso Fabuloso” – an untraditional rock’n’roll story with music and humor – to Tusten Teatret at 19.30 Friday 24 June and in Cochecton Pump Home at 20:00 on Saturday 25 June. The applications are a part of the Satisfaction celebrations in Sullivan County, and the hope is to broaden the theater and humanities scene within the space.

RIVER REPORTER: So what’s “Oso Fabuloso” about?

JIMÉNEZ: “Oso Fabuloso” is about how one can create your individual superhero so you’ll be able to exist within the face of queer trauma. It has actually a direct relation to “Hedwig;” it is the type of singer-narrator.

MORENO: However this isn’t your typical present. It is a rock ‘n’ roll present with a narrative connected.

RIVER REPORTER: You latterly carried out “Oso” at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, which is unquestionably the massive time, and now we’re fortunate to have you ever convey the present out right here to the nation. How do you suppose audiences are going to be completely different in Narrowsburg than in downtown Manhattan?

MORENO: I believe it can resonate properly right here. It’s a common story; it is a love story. And the music is so good that it doesn’t matter who you’re … it actually ranges from 60s rock’n’roll to pop to the Eighties; there’s a little bit of R&B and a little bit of rap, everybody will discover a strategy to benefit from it.

RIVER REPORTER: I believe it is oh-so nice to have a homosexual, Latino, wildly proficient actor, singer and award-winning playwright like my neighbor, to not point out his superb producer together with his spouse and household. I believe that speaks properly for the range of Sullivan County that many individuals might not at all times see. So … how did you meet?

JIMÉNEZ: (laughs) We met after I was studying a play from me on INTAR and Lou appreciated it and stopped me and stated, “Why do I not know who you’re?” He took me to lunch and saved my life – a large umbrella got here flying down 52nd avenue in a gust of wind, and Lou acquired up and caught it with one hand. Then he stated he would produce my first piece.

MORENO: There’s an previous saying within the theater – it is credited to August Wilson – in case you actually wish to assist a playwright produce his first 4 performs … On this financial system it is probably not attainable, however I believe the long run Dedication to playwrights is extremely beneficial, and playwrights should discover a dwelling for his or her work the place they really feel assured in creating. And it has been an unbelievable journey – we have accomplished quite a lot of tasks collectively, in addition to bringing Julian in to work with our younger artists, and out of that we grew to become finest pals.

RIVER REPORTER: We now have some beautiful theaters regionally – from Forestburgh Playhouse to Tusten Theater, the place the play will probably be carried out on June 24 – the place do you see the native theater and artwork motion heading into our space? Are you planning on doing extra right here?

MORENO: Within the metropolis there are extra theater seekers and theater lovers, so I am considering seeing how a lot theater is sustainable up right here. I might guess that it could be tough to open one other theater, however I wish to see improvement work up right here. I don’t imply experimental or avant-garde, however for instance, we introduced “Oso” right here to observe. And the DVAA was actually superb; they gave us the theater – with free warmth! They have been very encouraging, so I stay up for different partnerships.

Tusten Teater is nice for workshops, however there are additionally some fairly cool yoga studios and barns, and I can see theaters in actual summer season or retreat type, the place we convey artists up right here to work, and we give them entry to actors and administrators to work with, for a couple of weeks or a month. We discuss to theater firms in New York and they’re at all times on the lookout for a spot for artists to allow them to create and produce their work again.

RIVER REPORTER: There is a huge story with artist retreats within the Catskills.

MORENO: I have no idea why Sullivan County has not been in a position to benefit from it these days. It occurs extra within the Japanese Catskills, however right here it simply appears so proper. We now have a lot expertise up right here. And it’s extra economically worthwhile to get right here than e.g. the extra established Berkshires, the place it’s insurmountable.

RIVER REPORTER: There are Satisfaction celebrations in nearly each metropolis close by. Why do you suppose there’s such a powerful foothold for homosexual tradition on this space?

JIMÉNEZ: It is such a stupendous space and queer persons are magnets for magnificence. And there is one thing in regards to the geography right here and the area – you could be as out as you need, otherwise you could be remoted, not like within the metropolis the place you stumble upon everybody on a regular basis.

RIVER REPORTER: What do you like – and don’t love – about dwelling in Barryville?

MORENO: Julian managed it – the wonder, the entry to completely different types of out of doors life, river life. The winters, nonetheless brutal they’re, are unbelievable. Snowboarding proper exterior the door is unbelievable. There may be entry and alternative for everybody – you do not need to have some huge cash to fish. Taking a pipe down the river prices nothing. I want there was a pharmacy – I don’t like how a lot I drive as of late. The three am hangover hamburger isn’t right here; it may be a skirt.

RIVER REPORTER: Julian, you’re additionally a instructor and lecturer at Queensborough School. What do you say to youngsters who wish to make a profession in musical theater?

JIMÉNEZ: I am telling them to go for it! In the event that they adore it, go for it. Our background singers are my former college students! I educate theater, and there is an previous saying that theater actors are “theater acrobats.” However an appreciation of artwork can go in so many instructions. I believe it teaches empathy and compassion and love and I believe lots is lacking as of late.

Purchase tickets for the Tusten Theater present at delawarevalleyartsalliance.org/occasion and for the Cochecton Pump Home present at https://myrivertickets.com/occasions/oso-fabuloso-the-bear-backs-6-25-2022/tickets.

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