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Caridad Svich is a playwright-songwriter-translator-editor with Croatian roots
By Nenad N. Bach
Published on 02/5/2009

Caridad Svich is a playwright-songwriter-translator-editor of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish and Croatian descent. Her works have been staged across the US and abroad at venues as diverse as Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, INTAR, The Women’s Project, 7 Stages, Cleveland Public Theatre, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Dad’s Garage and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Caridad Svich, another Croatian pearl

Caridad Svich

Caridad Svich is a playwright-songwriter-translator-editor of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish and Croatian descent. Her works have been staged across the US and abroad at venues as diverse as Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, INTAR, The Women’s Project, 7 Stages, Cleveland Public Theatre, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Dad’s Garage and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her plays have been workshopped by Actors Touring Company in London, Mark Taper Forum, The Public Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre/Hedgebrook, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Royal Court Theatre, and Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, among many others. Awards include 2002-2003 Bunting Fellowship from Harvard University/Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a TCG/Pew National Theatre Artist Residency, an NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency, and Rosenthal New Play Prize. She is editor of Trans-Global Readings: Crossing Theatrical Boundaries (Manchester University Press), and Divine Fire: Eight Contemporary Plays Inspired by the Greeks (BackStage Books). She is co-editor of Conducting a Life: Reflections on the Theatre of Maria Irene Fornes (Smith & Kraus), Theatre in Crisis? (Manchester University Press), and Out of the Fringe: Contemporary Latina/o Theatre and Performance (TCG). Some of her translations are collected in Federico Garcia Lorca: Impossible Theatre (Smith & Kraus). She is founder of the pan-American theatre collective NoPassport, is contributing editor of TheatreForum, and on the advisory committee of Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge/UK). She holds an MFA from UCSD. Following is selected listing of works and translations available. For full listing visit her website at

The House of the Spirits
(La casa de los espíritus)
by Caridad Svich

freely adapted from Isabel Allende's best-selling novel

José Antonio Cruz, Repertorio Español
1-212-225-9955 (New York City USA)

Repertorio Español is proud to announce a stirring premiere adaptation of Isabel Allende's landmark best-selling novel, “The House of the Spirits” (La casa de los espíritus) by acclaimed US Latina dramatist and lyricist Caridad Svich (“12 Ophelias,” “The Booth Variations,” “Iphigenia...A Rave Fable”) under the direction of José Zayas (“Southern Promises,” “Nowhere on the Border,” “Vengeance Can Wait”).

The piece was commissioned by Repertorio and marks a first time collaboration with Caridad Svich. The production is presented as part of Repertorio Español’s 40th Anniversary Season.

Previews for “The House of the Spirits” begin on Friday, February 13, 2009 at 8pm. The premiere will take place on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 7pm. The production is presented in Spanish with live simultaneous English translation.

Tickets for “The House of the Spirits” begin at $25 and may be reserved online by visiting; by phone 212-225-9920 or in person at Repertorio Español located on 138 East 27th Street New York, NY 10016 between Lexington and Third Avenues (Sun-Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri-Sat 9am - 9pm). Special offer: Reserve on or before Wednesday, February 18 and mention code “ISABEL” for $10 off the regular ticket price. Repertorio Español is wheelchair accessible and offers an audio amplification system for the heard of hearing. Full performance schedule follows.

About “The House of the Spirits”:

“The House of the Spirits,” published in 1982, is a National Bestseller and Isabel Allende’s debut novel which catapulted her to literary stardom. When Isabel Allende's novel first appeared on the international literary scene, it was widely heralded as a feminist response to Gabriel García Marquez's “One Hundred Years of Solitude”; it continues to this day to captivate readers across the world as it has been translated in over 20 languages.

Charting the rise and fall of the Trueba family in an un-named Latin American country (reminiscent of Chile), the piece spans the 1920s through the 1970s, as the country moves through enormous sociopolitical changes that culminate in a devastating dictatorship. The play is told from the sensorial point of view of the youngest of three generation of women, Alba, who is held as the play opens, in a torture room by the government. The swirling memories, frightening and amusing, lyrical and fantastic, illuminate the stage as Alba records her family's history and ultimately finds the strength to recover her own story.

Through its unique style, the play delves on themes such as abuse of political power, the horrors of stifling dictatorships and women’s struggles for independence and equal rights in a world where men seamlessly avoid the consequences for their actions. This new re-imagining of “The House of the Spirits” is a bold and daring theatre piece that captures the force and sensuality of Allende's vision through Caridad Svich's unique poetic spirit and director Jose Zayas' strong scenographic vision.

About the Design Team and Cast:

“The House of the Spirits” will feature innovative design elements that include video by Abe Koch, puppetry by Emily DeCola, original music by David Lawson and transformational set and lighting design by Robert Federico. The production counts with the performances of distinguished actors including Nelson Landrieu as Esteban Trueba (Theater: “Happily Mad”; Film & TV: “Random Hearts,” “Waking the Dead,” “Law & Order”); Beatriz Córdoba as Clara (Theater: “I swear Juana, I have an itch for you,” “Happily Mad,” “La nona,” “Yerma,” “The House of Bernarda Alba,” “Five Kinds of Silence,” “La Celestina”); Ernesto de Villa Bejjani as Severo & Pedro García (Theater: “Boxcar,” “Nowhere on the Border,” “Letters to a Mother”); Selenis Leyva as Tránsito Soto (Theater: “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” “The House of Bernarda Alba,” “Blood Wedding,” “Anna in The Tropics,” “Doña Flor and Her Two Husbands” Film & TV: “María Full of Grace,” “Law & Order”); Rosie Berrido as Férula (Theater: “La gringa,” “The Feast of the Goat,” “Letters to a Mother,” “Blood Wedding”) and a special performance by Denise Quiñones (Miss Universe 2001) as Alba (Theater: “Anna in The Tropics,” “Doña Rosita the Spinster,” “Doña Flor and Her Two Husbands”).

The ensemble will also feature performances by Gabriel Guitiérrez, Laura Gómez, Eric Robledo, Ana Verónica Muñóz and Kika Child.

About Isabel Allende (Author)

Isabel Allende is a world-renowned Latin American writer known for the passion and folk tale eloquence with which she shares her country with the world. Her father, Tomás Allende, was a Chilean Ambassador to Perú (where she was born in 1942) and cousin of Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected socialist candidate in the world. She returned to Chile at the age of three. In 1973 when her uncle, Salvador Allende, was assasinated she moved with her husband and children to Venezuela. Allende published her first novel, “La casa de los espíritus” (The House of the Spirits) in 1982, followed by “De amor y sombra” (Of Love and Shadows) in 1984, “Eva Luna” in 1989, “El plan infinitivo” (The Infinitive Plan) in 1991 as well as a collection of short stories, “Cuentos de Eva Luna” (Eva Luna’s Stories) in 1990. Allende’s first nonfiction work, “Paula,” in 1994, was written as a letter to her daughter who died in 1992 of a blood disease. Allende has received numerous awards for her work. Her books have been translated to more than 27 languages.
“Daughter of Fortune” was selected as part of Oprah’s Book Club and “The House of the Spirits” was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the ‘50 Books to Remember’ published between 1956- 2005. Allende has taught literature at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Montclair College in New Jersey and the University of California, Berkeley. She represented Latin America as a Flag Bearer in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Allende resides in San Rafael, California with her second husband Willie Gordon.

About Caridad Svich (Playwright)

Caridad Svich is a U.S. Latina playwright, translator, lyricist and editor whose works have been produced across the U.S. and abroad at diverse venues including 59E59, The Women's Project, The Pearl Theater, McCarren Park Pool, INTAR, Walkerspace, 7 Stages, Salvage Vanguard, ARTheater-Cologne and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK. Her works include “12 Ophelias,” “Any Place But Here,” “Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues,” “Antigone Arkhe,” “The Booth Variations,” “Iphigenia...a rave fable” and “The Labyrinth of Desire.”

This spring her new plays “Instructions for Breathing” and “Wreckage” received their world premieres, respectively, at Passage Theater/NJ and Crowded Fire/CA (dir. Erin Gilley). She has translated nearly all of Federico Garcia Lorca's dramatic works as well as plays by Lope de Vega, Calderón de La Barca, Julio Cortazar and contemporary works from Mexico and Cuba. She has been a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, NEA/TCG Fellow at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre and a TCG/Pew Charitable Trust Fellow at INTAR. Her works have been published by TCG, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, BackStage Books, Arte Público Press, Stage & Screen, Heinemann, and Manchester University Press. Svich is an alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press, Associate Editor of Routledge's “Contemporary Theatre Review” and Contributing Editor of “TheatreForum.” Svich is also member of PEN American Center, The Playwrights Center and The Dramatists Guild. She is featured in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino History and holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego.

About José Zayas (Director):

This is José Zayas’ fourth production with Repertorio Español. His previous productions include “Letters to a Mother,” which premiered in December 2008 and “Madre, el drama padre” and “Nowhere on the Border” which received numerous ACE & HOLA Awards. “The House of the Spirits” is part of a six month residency at Repertorio Español made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. José Zayas
was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon Universities. Zayas is co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Immediate Theater Company. He held a residency at the Ensemble Studio Theater and was selected as one of’s 2007 People of the Year. He is also a Drama League Fellow and an alumnus of Lincoln Center’s Director's Lab and Soho Rep Writer/Director's Lab and has received fellowships such as the Phil Killian, Kenneth Frankel, John Pasquin and Van Lier.

His theater credits include “Southern Promises” by Thomas Bradshaw (PS122), "Lies I Wish I'd Told You..." by Mallery Avidon (Dixon Place), "Are Women Human?" by Nanna Mwaluko (Fresh Fruit Festival), "Okay" by Taylor Mac (Ensemble Studio Theatre), "Vengeance Can Wait" by Yukiko Motoya (PS122), "Again and Against" by Betty Shamieh (The Lark), "The Past Is Not a Foreign Country (Very) Personal Maps of Seattle" by Mallery Avidon (Soho Rep), "The Wasps" and "Tecmessa" by Ken Urban (Target Margin), "Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist" by Thomas Bradshaw (Brick Theater, 4 New York Innovative Theater Award Nominations), "Devil Land" by Desi Moreno-Penson (Summer Play Festival/Cherry Lane Theatre), "Crowns" by Regina Taylor (Virginia Stage Company). Zayas co-produced INTAR’s 2006 New Works Theater Lab. His credits as Assistant Director include “Talk Radio” directed by Robert Falls and starring Liev Schreiber; “Regrets Only” directed by Christopher Ashley; “Come Back Little Sheba” directed by Michael Pressman.

About Repertorio Español:

Repertorio Español, now on its 40th season, was founded in 1968 to present the best of Latin American, Spanish and Hispanic-American theatre in distinctive, quality productions, and to bring theatre to a broad audience in New York City and across the country, including seniors, students and Hispanics of all national backgrounds. The organization has been awarded Drama Desk, OBIE and New York State Governor's Awards. Repertorio Español has a long and successful tradition of adapting master literary works by Latin American authors. The Company has commissioned and produced to great critical acclaim, adaptations of Gabriel García Márquez’s “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (10 years in repertory); Mario Vargas Llosa’s “The Feast of the Goat” (6 years in repertory); Miguel de Cervantes’ “El Quijote” (4 years in repertory) and Jorge Amado’s “Doña Flor and Her Two Husbands” (2 years in repertory).

“The House of the Spirits” is made possible thanks to the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Previews 2009:

Friday, February 13 – 8pm
Saturday, February 14 – 8pm
Sunday, February 15 – 3pm
Sunday, February 15 – 6:30pm
Wednesday, February 18 – 11am

Opening night:

Thursday, February 19 - 7pm


Sunday, February 22 - 3pm***Target $1
Monday, February 23 – 7pm
Saturday, March 7 - 8pm
Sunday, March 15 - 3pm
Thursday, March 19 – 7pm
Sunday, March 22 – 6:30pm
Friday, March 20 - 8pm
Sunday, March 29 – 6:30pm
Sunday, April 5 - 3pm
Thursday, April 9 – 7pm
Friday, April 17 - 8pm
Saturday, April 25 – 3pm
Thursday, April 30 – 7pm
Saturday, May 16 – 8pm
Thursday, May 7 – 7pm
Saturday, May 16 – 3pm
Saturday, May 23 – 8pm
Sunday, May 24 – 3pm
Saturday, May 30 – 8pm
Sunday, May 31 – 6:30pm
Friday, June 5 – 8pm

COMING in 2009

MOXIE Theatre and Ion Theatre will present

by Caridad Svich,

freely adapted & translated from Lope de Vega's "La Prueba de los ingenios"

April 18-May 23, 2009

Directed by Delicia Turner-Sonnenberg

MOXIE Theatre is a professional non-profit theatre founded by the critically acclaimed group of performers and directors; Jo Anne Glover, Liv Kellgren, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg and Jennifer Eve Thorn.

MOXIE fans know that each distinct MOXIE production will always share one similar quality – moxie. Moxie is defined as “courage, pluck, gumption, perseverance, guts." It may be the hero of a play who embodies the term moxie, or a challenging subject matter. Perhaps a playwright has invented an original world for audiences to explore, or actors are asked to stretch to new heights and break new ground in story-telling. In whatever way it is revealed, moxie is the unifying quality that defines all of our productions.

MOXIE mailing address:
PO BOX 232737
Encinitas CA 92023

MOXIE hotline:

Further details, including performance venue, will be available at

premiere of

a play by Caridad Svich
directed by Erin Gilley
at Crowded Fire Theatre, San Francisco, CA
premiere: April 2009

premiere of

a play by Caridad Svich
directed by Daniella Topol
at Passage Theatre, New Jersey
April 30 - May 24
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 8pm
2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturdays @ 2pm
Sundays @ 3pm


Hit the party.
Impress the boss.
Steal a kiss.
Get home late…

In a world of hurry, what's the cost of playing? Jon and Sara return home one night to find that their child, Sonya, has mysteriously vanished through a casual act of neglect. Her disappearance turns her parents – and the community – upside down with regrets, judgments, and gossip; but also galvanizes them to take responsibility for their own fate in today's global and frenetic society. This lyrical, dreamlike drama exposes tragedy in the modern world – personal, private and public – in a fiercely witty look at love, lies and the language we use to disguise our hearts.

Caridad Svich is an award-winning US playwright, translator and lyricist of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish-Croatian descent.

Her works have been presented across the US and abroad at diverse venues including 7 Stages, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Women's Project, INTAR, 59 East 59, Salvage Vanguard, ARTheater-Cologne, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Royal Court Theatre. Her adaptation of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits premieres at Repertorio Espanol in New York City January 2009. Key plays: Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues, Any Place But Here, Iphigenia...a rave fable, Fugitive Pieces, 12 Ophelias, The Labyrinth of Desire and multimedia collaboration The Booth Variations. She's received fellowships from the NEA, TCG, Pew Charitable Trust, and Harvard/Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is published by TCG, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, Manchester University Press, and more. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of theatre alliance & press NoPassport, associate editor of Routledge's Contemporary Theatre Review, and contributing editor of TheatreForum. She holds an MFA from UCSD, and editor of several books on theatre and performance. Visit her at

Daniella Topol’s recent NYC directing credits include: Judith Thompson’s PALACE OF THE END (Epic Theatre), Trista Baldwin’s SAND (Women’s Project and Productions), Sheila Callaghan’s DEAD CITY (New Georges), Peter Gil-Sheridan’s TOPSY TURVY MOUSE (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), and Zakiyyah Alexander’s SICK? (Summer Play Festival). A graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s directing program, Daniella has been the Artistic Program Director at the Lark Play Development Center, the New Works Program Director at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the Associate Producing Director of City Theatre. She is currently working as a resident artist at HERE developing a new multi-media piece on floods with Sheila Callaghan, Bill Cusick, and Katie Down. Upcoming projects include: Trista Baldwin’s FORGETTING (Playlabs, MN), Susan Bernfield and Rachel Peters’ TINY FEATS OF COWARDICE (NYC Fringe), and Leslie Ayvazian’s BEHAVE YOURSELF (Lark Play Development Center) 


NoPe - NoPassport Conference


NoPassport presents a two-day conference with the support of The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, The Internationalists, The Polish Cultural Institute, Theatre Without Borders, and in collaboration with Frank Hentschker, Agata Grenda and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Initiated by Caridad Svich

Co-curated by Randy Gener

Advisory Curator: Patricia Ybarra (Brown University)

Preliminary Itinerary click here




Translation of Julio Cortazar's THE KINGS is published in the web-only feature InTranslation of

The Brooklyn Rail (December 2008)



The Looking Glass

a reflection on Tim Crouch's ENGLAND

by Caridad Svich

published in HotReview, edited by Jonathan Kalb

(January 2009)


Contact: New Dramatists, 424 West 44th Street NY, NY 10036 USA
Tel:212-757-6960 Fax: 212-265-4738 Voicemail: 212-886-1814

Recommended by Eileen Weiss:

Formated for CROWN by Nenad N. Bach
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