Destiny of Desire


Destiny of Desire
By Karen Zacarías

Directed by José Luis Valenzuela
A Chicago Premiere 
March 11 - April 16, 2017 in the Albert

Karen Zacarías brings the seductive power of Latin American telenovelas to the stage in this hilarious and smart new comedy. In her new high-drama and explosive comedy, Karen Zacarías explores race, gender and class politics through the lens of the Latin American telenovela, one of the world’s most popular storytelling genres. On a stormy night in a Mexican hospital, two baby girls are born―one into a life of privilege, the other to an impoverished family. But when the girls are deliberately swapped, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny. Destiny of Desire is a smart, stylish and sexy comedy that dishes a lot of dirt and even more surprises.

Destiny of Desire

  • Destiny of Desire, Playwright
    Destiny of Desire, Playwright

    KAREN ZACARÍAS has written award-winning plays including The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent and many more. She collaborated on the libretto for Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for the Washington Ballet. The 2016 season will see world premieres of her plays Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage,Native Gardens at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Oliverio: A Brazilian Twist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ella Enchanted: The Musical at First Stage. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage and is a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, D.C. Zacarías lives in D.C. with her husband and three children.

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  • Destiny of Desire, Director
    Destiny of Desire, Director

    JOSÉ LUIS VALENZUELA is the artistic director of the Latino Theater Company (LTC), and The Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) and is also a distinguished professor and head of the MFA directing program at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. Valenzuela is an award winning theater director, and has been a visionary and an advocate for Chicano/Latino theater for over 30 years. He has directed critically acclaimed productions at major theaters both internationally and nationally including the LATC, where he created the Latino Theatre Lab in 1985, and the Mark Taper Forum, where he established the Latino Theater Initiative in 1991. Most recently he directed Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and La Olla – Plautus’s The Pot of Gold for the Latino Theater Company at the LATC. As the artistic director of the Latino Theater Company, operators of the LATC, he has been responsible for developing its artistic vision and organizational mission of producing programming that represents the diversity of Los Angeles. In 2010, under Valenzuela’s leadership, the LATC was nominated for an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Theatre Season. His recent directing credits at the LATC include La Olla – Plautus’s The Pot of GoldPremeditationPeer GyntMelancholiaFaithHope andCharityHabitat and La Victima. In 2007, Valenzuela was featured in The New York Timesfor the LTC’s annual holiday pageant, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. In 2002 he directed the world premiere of Dementia, which won the 2003 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater Production in Los Angeles. Other international directing credits include Kiss of the Spider Woman at the National Theatre of Norway, and he assisted his mentor, Norwegian director Stein Winge, with HamletThe Glass MenagerieBarrabasPantagleizeDie WalkurieThe Inspector General and TheWild Duck. Mr. Valenzuela’s film directing credits include DementiaLuminariasHow Else Am I Supposed To Know I’m Still Alive?Una Vez Al Año Para Toda Una Vida,  La Redadaand A Bowl of Beings, for PBS’ Great Performances. Valenzuela’s artistic vision and community commitment has garnered numerous recognitions, nominations and awards including the Ann C. Rosenfield Distinguished Community Partnership Prize and the Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero of the Year Award. He also serves on the national steering committee of the Latina/o Theatre Commons and produced the national Latina/o Theatre Festival Encuentro in 2014.

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  • Karen Zacarías in Rehearsal
    Karen Zacarías in Rehearsal

    Playwright Karen Zacarías observes a rehearsal for her play The Sins of Sor Juana, which appeared during the Goodman's 2009/2010 Season. 

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