Stageworks' brings Ybor City to downtown Tampa for 'Anna In the Tropics'

Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer-winning play runs from May 6-23.

click to enlarge Marlene Peralta plays Conchita in Stageworks Theatre's 'Anna in the Tropics.' - C/O STAGEWORKS THEATRE
c/o Stageworks Theatre
Marlene Peralta plays Conchita in Stageworks Theatre's 'Anna in the Tropics.'
Ybor City is coming to Channelside, care of Tampa's Stageworks Theatre, which presents “Anna In the Topics,” opening this weekend on Friday, May 6 and running every weekend through May 23.

Miami-based playwright Nilo Cruz—who won a Pulitzer for the work in 2003—dropped his characters in Ybor City before it was historic (c. 1929) and within the walls of one of the neighborhood’s cigar factories. A trigger warning for conservatives, however, because the play very quickly takes a turn for the woke when a new lector starts reading Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” to workers who’re spending their days toiling away while hand rolling cigars.
Event Details

Anna in the Tropics (Anna en el Tropico)

Saturdays, Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through May 22

Stageworks Theatre 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 151, Tampa Tampa

“The classic story suddenly parallels the lives of the factory workers and forever changes their world. Passions are ignited, affairs are consummated, and gunshots are fired,” a press release from Stageworks says.

Stageworks’ Producing Artistic Director Karla Hartley points to the longing, love and betrayal baked into Cruz’s script, adding that the work is also about the power of literature.

“Although it’s set in Ybor City, ‘Anna in the Tropics’ explores topics that are still relevant worldwide, such as masculinity, women’s independence, and corporate finances and responsibility,” Hartley said.

What’s more is that Cruz’s message comes to life thanks to a bilingual cast which will also present the work in Spanish during five performances (May 7, 14 and 21 at 3 p.m.; May 13 & 21 at 8 p.m.).

The majority of “Anna in the Tropics” cast members—including native Tampeño Marlene Peralta who Stageworks stans may remember from a 2018 production of “In the Time of the Butterflies”—have been a part of Stageworks’ Hispanic Initiative since its inception.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
Scroll to read more Events & Film articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]