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Chicago-Based Actor Laura Crotte Performing In San Miguel

Laura Crotte

By Fredric Dannen

When a new play is about to receive its premiere, the author and director usually have a specific actor in mind for the lead role. Stephanie Alison Walker, whose thrilling new play The Madres had a rolling world premiere earlier this year in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Diego, knew whom she wanted for the lead role in the Chicago production: Laura Crotte.

Affiliated with two of Chicago’s—and America’s—most esteemed theater companies, Goodman and Steppenwolf, Crotte seemed perfect for the part of Josefina Acosta, an Argentinean woman in the late 1970s whose granddaughter has been abducted by the country’s military dictatorship as a political dissident.

But Crotte told the Chicago director, Ricardo Gutierrez, that she could not accept the role. “At the time,” she recalls, “I had already planned a trip to Mexico [her birthplace], which I didn’t want to reschedule.” The news did not go over well. “They were mad,” Crotte says. “Ricardo called me and said, ‘Stephanie is very unhappy with your decision.’”

Then, this past April, when The Madres opened in Chicago, Walker told Crotte that her play was going to be produced by La Troupe, a theater company in San Miguel de Allende, for a run of eight performances between August 23 and September 2, at the San Miguel Playhouse. La Troupe is San Miguel’s first bilingual theater company, and The Madres, Walker explained, was going to be translated into Spanish and performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

Crotte auditioned for the La Troupe production and was offered the role that same day.

Delighted, Walker immediately made plans to travel to San Miguel to see The Madres with Crotte in the lead role. For Walker, the good news had come on the heels of her first US reviews for her new play, which were laudatory and gratifying. “Astounding!” wrote the reviewer for Broadway World, adding, “Demands to be seen.” Abigail Swoap of Annenberg Media called the play “a powerful night of theatre that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Crotte, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient who began acting at age 12, is also an outstanding vocalist and musician and educator. In the latter category, she produces her own shows, using masks, dance, and music to promote Mexican culture and history. These pageants are performed at schools and community centers throughout the state of Illinois and other parts of the United States.

The San Miguel Playhouse is located at Avenida Independencia 82 and features free secured parking and taxi concierge service.  Reserved seat tickets for The Madres are 300, 200, and 100 pesos (the least expensive seats are in the only section without English supertitles), available at Boleto City, second floor of Mercado Sano (Ancha de San Antonio 123), and online at either sanmiguelplayhouse.com or latroupemexico.com.

 

Theater

The Madres

By Stephanie Alison Walker

Aug 23–Sep 2

Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7pm

Spanish with English supertitles

San Miguel Playhouse, Av Independencia 82

Reserved seat tickets:

300, 200, and 100 pesos

Box Office: Boleto City, on the second floor of Mercado Sano (Ancha de San Antonio 123)

Online sales:

sanmiguelplayhouse.com and latroupemexico.com

 

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