Founders: Manuel Martín Jr. and Magaly Alabau
Artistic Director: Manuel Martín Jr (1969-1989)
Artistic Director: Michelangelo Alasá (1989 - present)
Duo Theatre/Teatro Duo aka Spanish-English Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1969 by Magaly Alabau and Manuel Martín Jr. in the poorest section of what is now called the Lower East Side. Its mission was to produce experimental plays in both English and Spanish by young Hispanic playwrights and directors as well as by more well-known Hispanic artists. Manuel Martín Jr. was the Artistic Director from 1969 to 1989, and he produced 83 plays during these years. In 1971, Ellen Stewart, founder and director of the famous off-off Broadway experimental theater club LA MaMa, invited DUO Theatre to become one of its 16 resident theater companies. Since then, it has been producing in local theaters in the Lower East Side. In 1989, Alasá became its artistic director and shifted its focus from Hispanic theater in general to musicals written by Hispanic-American playwrights. Duo Theatre was a pioneer in a number of things: it was the first theater company to produce plays from Cuba in the US; it was also the first to produce Hispanic musicals.
Author: Lillian Manzor ()