Marisol. Highlighting the Work of Puerto Rican Playwright, José Rivera

Three faces of facing each other

New World School of the Arts theater division welcomes the Spring with José Rivera’s dark fairytale, Marisol. The two-act apocalyptic play, which became extremely popular in the early 1990s, is directed by NWSA faculty member Jennifer de Castroverde and highlights the talent of a dozen NWSA college theater students in a play that continues to find relevance in a world consumed by turmoil in spite of its effort to find peace. “Marisol, the play, reminds us of the need for compassion in a high conflict world,” noted the director.

De Castroverde, who brought to the NWSA stage Lorca’s Blood Wedding last season, highlights the importance of exploring culturally relevant plays with the students at New World School of the Arts and offering them to the community the school serves. Miami-Dade County’s Hispanic population is just above 70%, while New World School of the Arts’ is closer to 65%.

“Having the wonderful opportunity to explore the writings of Puerto Rican author José Rivera, has given breath and creative inspiration to the Caribbean ancestral heritage of the majority of our student body.”

Jennifer de Castroverde

Marisol explores the world of a woman facing the possibility of her own death in a world in chaos and crisis, which seem both terrifying and hopeless. The play brings forth themes of mental illness, spiritual warfare, and a dystopian, disintegration of urban society in America. Marisol‘s poetic realism provides an atmosphere of intense human vulnerability to the existential questions of theology, sexuality, relationships, and the nature of faith, love, fear, and compassion.
In the words of the playwright, the Obie Award-winning play “was written in despair. I was living in a city that seemed to be falling apart,” explained Rivera in a letter he wrote to cast, crew, and directors of Marisol, who would someday bring the production to life, time and again. “The world has changed enormously since I wrote the first draft of Marisol in 1989. (Back then the idea of metal detectors in all the buildings in Brooklyn seemed so radical – little did I know!) But in every important way, the world hasn’t changed at all,” concluded Rivera. “It’s your turn to make this play relevant, to have it sing through your bodies and minds.” José Rivera is the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar. Rivera’s nomination came in 2005 for best writing / adapted screenplay for The Motorcycle Diaries.

The New World School of the Arts theater program is dedicated to the professional training of talented and committed students interested in pursuing a performing career in theater and musical theater, offering students an opportunity to work in a hands-on intensive, physically demanding, artistically challenging and exciting environment. Guided by faculty who are professional actors, directors, playwrights and designers, the curriculum is a progressive journey toward the ownership of a personal technique and a comprehensive methodology of working. The faculty guides the student through the discovery and exploration of self, the learning of diverse techniques used in our craft, intensive rehearsal process, and finally the application of this knowledge into dramatic forms and styles in productions. The NWSA College BFA theater program culminates with in-person senior showcases in Miami and New York City, and a virtual showcase for regional markets. Information about the NWSA theater program is available by calling 305-237-3260.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theatre and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more three decades.

Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or


March 30; 7:30 PM
March 31; 7:30 PM
April 1; 7:30 PM
April 2; 2 PM

Louise O. Gerrits Theater
25 NE 2 Street, 8th Floor, Miami

General admission $15 / Students and seniors $10