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Bienvenidos Blancos! or Welcome White People!

Team Sunshine Performance Corp.

Bienvenidos Blancos

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome! What a plea­sure! Please come in. Theater artist Alex Torra and Team Sunshine Performance Corp. present this Spanish­language, ensemble­devised performance work that examines privilege, exploitation, and the complexities of Cuban American history and cultural identity. Drawing on Torra’s personal experience as a Cuban American, the work “endeavors to make apparent the particularities of a certain corner of the current American landscape—that of the Latino American with one foot in their ethnic heritage and one in a dominantly white culture.” Devised by a collective of Cuban, Cuban American, and Caucasian American performers, the project explores Cuba’s long history of appeasing/revolting against dominantly white nations and eco­nomic forces, including the U.S. The piece showcases how this history has shaped the ways contemporary individuals of Cuban descent understand themselves and their culture.

¡Bienvenidos Blancos! or Welcome White People! premiered at FringeArts in spring 2018, and was developed at Teatro Ludi (Havana auditions); Swarthmore Project in Theater, Swarthmore College; Taller Puertorriqueño; and FringeArts. Major support was provided by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the William J. Cooper Foundation and Swarthmore’s Department of Theater, the Wyncote Foundation, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the Puffin Foundation, as well as the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program.


Orishas in Movement: Performance Workshop on Cuban Folkloric Dance
Date: Saturday February 8, 10:30-1:30pm
Location: Tarble in Clothier
Cuban performers Cheryl Zaldívar and Jorge Caballero will lead a 3-hour workshop/class that introduces students to the dance practices of el Folklórico, which is rooted in the embodiment and telling of the stories of the Orishas, the Yoruba deities central to the Afro-Cuban religion commonly known as Santeria.
Leaving Home/Staying Behind: A Public Conversation about Cuban Immigration (in Spanish)
Date: Thursday, February 6,  8:30-9:45am
Location: LPAC 301
Cuban performers Idalmis Garcia and Cheryl Zaldivar will participate in a public conversation about Cuban Immigration hosted by SPAN 008 (Spanish Conversation and Composition). Moderated by Professor Eli Cohen, this conversation will take place in Spanish and will focus on the complex personal experience of immigrating to the U.S. from Cuba from two perspectives: personal insight as a new Cuban immigrant in the U.S. and the experience of Cubans on the island who have watched generations leave.
Creating Theater Collaboratively and Cross-Culturally -- Team Sunshine Devised Theater Workshop
Date: Tuesday, February 18th, 1:15-4:15pm
Location: The Kuharski Studio, Matchbox
Hosted by THEA 012 (Acting II), Cuban performer Cheryl Zaldivar and Team Sunshine members Alex Torra and Benjamin Camp will host an introductory workshop to the tools and techniques used in the ensemble-created theater production ¡BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! OR WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE!

Date: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15, 7 p.m.
Lang Performing Arts Center, Pearson–Hall Theatre
BIENVENIDOS BLANCOS! OR WELCOME WHITE PEOPLE! is a bilingual theatrical production that explores the role of “whiteness” and identity in the contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American experience. Produced by Philadelphia-based theatre company Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, and created through a multi-year collaboration between Cuban and American artists, BIENVENIDOS explores the impact that Cuba’s racial, economic, and political history has had on the lives of its people on and off the island. BIENVENIDOS attempts to capture the particularities of this impact, touching on themes of survival, immigration, and the diasporic experience, looking towards the past to understand the complexities of the present.