Edge

Cast brings camaraderie to ‘Night Train to Bolina’

Senior Ryan Phillips and Sophomore Alanna Saunders perform a scene from the final dress rehearsal of "Night Train to Bolina", a play written by Nilo Cruz. Cruz is a Pulizter Prize winning playwright and Miami native directing for the first time at the University of Miami. The play tells a tale set in an unidentified, war-torn Latin America country where two peasant youths, Mateo and Clara, create an imaginary world to cope with the starvation and oppression of their daily lives. "Night Train to Bolina" is playing at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre from September 14 to September 24, 2011. Katie Sikora//The Miami Hurricane

Remember that imaginary world you used to visit as a child? At home or school, you could access it anywhere. Well, meet Clara and Mateo, for whom a magical world means kites, angels and tombstones in the Ring Theatre’s production of “Night Train to Bolina.” In a Latin-American world full of violence, these children struggle to make sense of their families, their religion and their budding adolescence, so they invent a fantasy realm where they are in control. Their favorite location to visit is the cemetery, where pictures dot the tombstones and they pretend to be the deceased — “I’ll be the woman who died in November!” Eventually, however, their need to escape escalates, so they stow aboard a midnight train to Bolina.

Joey Barrerio’s performance as young Mateo is enthralling and believable; his stage presence meets the personal standards he set in “Rent” nearly two years ago, and he continues to impress audiences with his versatile acting. But it is sophomore Alanna Saunders’ heart-wrenching performance as Clara that sweeps the audience away. Between her innocent enthusiasm and flare for the dramatic, she responds to every situation as a charming yet emotive 11-year-old. Together, Barrerio and Saunders achieve the perfect balance of friends who sometimes can’t stand each other, but above all, cannot live without each other.

Their chemistry with the rest of the cast is tangible, racing the audience along the bumpy train tracks of joy and sadness. The artistic interpretations of the children’s imaginary world are beautiful and tranquil, and despite the heavy material, it’s scattered with humorous lines from the children.

Playwright Nilo Cruz was in the audience Wednesday evening. He spent the last five weeks working with the cast, saying, “It’s been a joy for me [to direct this play.]” His stay at UM is far from over, however, as he has translated the Ring Theatre’s next play, “The House of Bernarda Alba,” and will be assisting rehearsals up until the performances. That show will run from Oct. 13-30.

As for “Night Train to Bolina,” opening night mistakes were minimal and well-disguised by the cast, and the play promises to continue being polished, poignant and all-together stunning for the rest of its audiences.

 

If you go:

What: “Night Train to Bolina”

Where: Ring Theatre

When: Through Sept. 24

Cost: $8-$20; free for students on Totally Tuesdays.

September 18, 2011

Reporters

deannamavis


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is starting Thursday night for the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes against ...

It sure sounds like redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is going to get his first career start at 8 Thurs ...

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

Theatre arts students open the Ring Theatre’s 2018-19 season with a tribute to the creative genius w ...

UM representatives earned Novice and Junior Varsity categories at the National Opener, one of the mo ...

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement receives a $300,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

Miami junior Estela Perez-Somarriba's 6-4, 6-3 victory over Evgeniya Levashova will be re-broad ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.