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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: Tatiana Mallarino and the Privileges of an American Passport

The Colombian director discusses her new play ‘17 Border Crossings,’ plus reviews of ‘The Cradle Will Rock,’ ‘The Pain of My Belligerence,’ and ‘Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie.’

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcast, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week they talk to Tatiana Mallarino, who directed 17 Border Crossings, a worldwide travelogue she co-created with her husband Thaddeus Phillips, who performs in the play, currently at New York Theatre Workshop. Mallarino, who grew up in Colombia, is related to a popular telenovela actor and studied theatre in Bogotá. She talked to the Friends about the differences between Colombian and American theatre culture, as well as what she’s learned about traveling with passports from different countries, and touring with 17 Border Crossings all over the world.

The audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, where the Friends review three shows currently playing in New York City:

The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein, at Classic Stage Company through May 19 ($25-$82). John Doyle’s revival of the iconic socialist play chronicles the slow but steady labor revolution in a small American town, as workers rebel against corruption and greed.

The Pain of My Belligerence by Haley Feiffer at Playwrights Horizons through May 12 ($49-$89). Feiffer stars as Cat, a journalist who begins a disastrous affair with a married restaurateur (Hamish Linklater). The play follows their relationship over the course of eight years and three presidential elections.

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie by the Mad Ones at Ars Nova through May 11 ($25-$65). A group of parents of different ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities gather for a focus group about a children’s television show. The more time they spend together, the more micro-aggressions come to the surface, and by the end of the show it’s clear that this is not merely child’s play.

At the end of the episode, Jose (who is a Drama Desk nominator) explains the process behind choosing the 2019 Drama Desk Award nominations.

Download the episode here.

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