The Royal Court Theatre has been working with emerging playwrights in Cuba since 2002. We have now worked with over 50 Cuban writers over the last 14 years and four different groups on long term projects. During that time we have invited over a dozen Cuban playwrights to London and many Royal Court writers and directors have led the workshops in Cuba.
Many of the early writers are now some of the most produced playwrights in the country.
None of this could have happened without the support of the Consejo Nacional de Artes Escènicas (CNAE), the British Council and the Genesis Foundation which supports all the Royal Court’s international work.
The Royal Court and Cuba
2002 Elyse Dodgson travels to Cuba on the first research visit and, in the same year, hosts the first workshop in Escambray with 14 writers and April De Angelis and Indhu Rubasingham
2003 A year later a second workshop takes place in Matanzas with Elyse Dodgson, April De Angelis and Indhu Rubasingham
2004 The work developed in the workshops the previous year leads to Cuba Real – New plays from Cuba by six writers in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
In the same year, The Concert by Ulises Rodrìguez Febles wins the Cuban National Prize for Best New Play. It is produced by BBC Radio 4, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, translated by William Gregory
2005 The second Cuban Writers Group takes place in Escambray with Elyse Dodgson, Indhu Rubasingham and Tanika Gupta
2006 There is a second workshop in Havana with Elyse Dodgson, Indhu Rubasingham and Tanika Gupta as well as local readings in Teatro Stano
2007 Elyse Dodgson and Indhu Rubasingham return to Cuba to run combined workshop with playwrights and directors
2008 International Rough Cuts is staged in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The programme includes Midnight Revolutions by Norge Espinosa Mendoza and a verbatim piece Como Fue: the life of Carlos Johnson directed by Indhu Rubasingham
2009 The third Cuban writers’ group takes place in Havana with Elyse Dodgson and Indhu Rubasingham
2010 Elyse Dodgson and Rufus Norris host the second meeting of Cuban writers’ group in Havana and a research visit for Feast – a World Stages London project takes place
2014 The fourth Cuban writers’ group takes place in Santa Maria with 12 writers and Elyse Dodgson, Vivienne Franzmann and Stephen Jeffreys
2015 Elyse Dodgson, Stephen Jeffreys and April De Angelis return to Cuba to host the second meeting with the 2014 writers’ group
2016 A year later the group meet again and there is a presentation of work, directed by Carlos Celdràn, at Teatro Llaurad
In London there is a workshop of plays by Laura Liz Gil Echenique and José Raul Acosta, directed by Carlos Celdràn and Sam Pritchard
2017 In August, Laura Liz Gil Echenique’s play Drainage Alley has a staged reading as part of New and Now, a series of international play reading from the Royal Court at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Cuban Playwrights that have developed and collaborated with the Royal Court include
Abel Gonzalez Melo
Ulises Rodríguez Febles
Lilain Susel Zaldivar de los Reyes
Norge Espinosa Mendoza
Agnieska Hernndez Daz
Cheddy Mendizabel Alvarez
Yunior Garcia Aguilar