Theatre of Rice and Beans
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About the Film

What do three titans of the Latino theatre talk about, laugh about, argue about over a meal of rice and beans? What stories of hardship and triumph do three veterans of the American stage have to share after careers lasting more than four decades? Tony Mata, a theatre professor and director at the University of Florida, cooked a meal, set up cameras, and found out. The dinner of rice and beans (a potent metaphor for what unites Latinos culturally) became the kernel of this film.

Theatre of Rice and Beans is the first documentary about a vital part of American theatre history. Against the odds, René Buch, Miriam Colón, and Max Ferra founded New York City’s three most influential Latino playhouses: Repertorio Español, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and INTAR. For half a century these pioneers have given theatrical voice to the Latino community and crucial room to grow to generations of Latino theatre professionals..

Featuring commentary by playwrights Maria Irene Fornes and Nilo Cruz, Broadway directors Hal Prince and Graciela Daniele, and Broadway actors Chita Rivera, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others, the documentary tells an untold story of the American theatre and speaks to coming generations of theatre artists, addressing financial struggles, artistic breakthroughs, stereotyping, and the future of Latino theatre.

Executive Producers Tony Mata and Ralf Remshardt • Director of Photography Ralf Remshardt
Film Editor Dennis Gaston • Music by Samuel J. Hamm, Jr.
Directed by Tony Mata