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By the Waters of Babylon

Jill Gottieb and Erik Zavala star in By the Waters of Babylon

By Lola Smith, Photo by Foto Estudio San Miguel

Players Workshop is launching its 126th production, a special collaboration with director Alan Jordan of By the Waters of Babylon by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. The show opens Thursday, November 5, at the San Miguel Playhouse for a limited engagement of eight performances.

Players Workshop
By the Waters of Babylon
Thu, Nov 5-Sat, Nov 7pm
Thu, Nov 12-Sat, Nov 14, 7pm
Sun, Nov 8 & 15, 3pm
San Miguel Playhouse
Avenida Independencia 82
US$15 or 200 pesos

Schenkkan’s soulful drama takes place on a hot afternoon in Austin, Texas. The widowed Catherine hires Arturo, a Cuban refugee and writer-turned-gardener, to tame her chaotic backyard. Through an intense afternoon and evening, they embark on a journey through their deepest fears and desires. Together—warily, clumsily, they begin the oldest dance in the world.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissioned and produced the play in its world premiere. The Seattle Times said of the play, “It is rare to find a genuine, all-out romance among contemporary plays. Poetic yearnings of the heart can seem hopelessly naive and shopworn in today’s dating-mating-divorcing marketplace. By the Waters of Babylon bucks that trend with a fervently humane Valentine to midlife, soul-scarred love.”

Schenkkan’s Pulitzer Prize for The Kentucky Cycle was the only time the award has been given to a play that did not originate in New York City. Schenkkan is perhaps best known for his Tony Award-winning play about LBJ, All the Way, which starred Bryan Cranston on Broadway last year.

Director Alan Jordan is perhaps best known in San Miguel de Allende for his recent critically acclaimed string of one-man shows, including House, I Am My Own Wife, and Diary of a Madman (which, after a successful preview run, is set for its world premiere, opening November 19 at San Miguel Playhouse). He has had an extensive career as an actor and director in film, TV, and stage in the United States and Canada.

Jill Gottlieb and Erik Zavala star as Catherine and Arturo, and the sizzling chemistry between the two will have the town talking and lining up to see whether what they’ve heard is true. She is perhaps best known for her recent roles in Taylor Korobow’s productions of Other Desert Cities and The Other Place. By the Waters of Babylon is her eighth show for Players Workshop. Actor-photographer Erik Zavala spends most of his time behind the camera, and we’re happy the accomplished actor is making a rare stage appearance as Arturo.

This show represents a few firsts for Players Workshop. In addition to this first collaboration with Jordan, it is its first show at the new San Miguel Playhouse. The 125-seat theater is intimate, comfortable, easy to get to, and a stone’s throw from Centro, with post-show taxi service and free, secure parking.

For the first time, audience members can simply and easily purchase their reserved seats online at and at the San Miguel Playhouse box office, Monday-Friday, 10am–2pm.


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