Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Ana María Simo

Director, composer, production coordinator, author / playwright, translator

Ana María Simo was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, on September 25th, 1943. In 1958 she moved to Havana, city in which worked as a journalist and published her first book of short stories, The Fables (Las fábulas). The book was published by Ediciones El Puente, editorial house that existed outside the cultural establishment from 1961 to 1965. Simo, along with other important Cuban poets, playwrights and narrators, was the founder of this provocative project.

After the closure of Ediciones El Puente by the Cuban literary establishment, Simo moved to New York, where she continued her carrier as a playwrtight. Many of her plays (Ted and Edna, What do you see?, Alma and Exiles) have been produced in New York City by the INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center, Theater for the New City, P.S. 122, Medusa's Revenge, the WOW Cafe and at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Latino Festival. She is also the author of the novel How to Kill Her. Besides her liteary carreer, Simo has been actively engaged on community issues such as women's rights and campaigns against AIDS.

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    Simo's first short feature film, How to kill her, (based on her novel-in-progress of the same title), which she wrote and directed in 1989, has been widely screened through the U.S. and Europe. She has collaborated on works with such experimental artists as composers Zeena Parkins, choreographer Stephanie Skura and filmakers Ela Troyano and Abigail Child. She has recently given a series of readings of How to Kill Her at St. Mark's Poetry venues.


    Ana María Simo has also worked with relevant artists such as the multi-isntrumentalist, improviser and composer Zeena Parkins. The Opium War, result of this type of project, is a radio play with music by Zeena Parkins, text by Ana Maria Simo, many actors and actresses and musicians, among them Ikue Mori, D. J. Olive, D. D. Dorveillier, Jonathan Bepler, and others. Parkins is active in the New York and European New music scene as a sought after contributor and collaborator. She has appeared on over 70 CDs and in numerous concerts all over the world. Zeena has appeared in music festivals in Europe, South America, Japan and NYC, including: Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Serious Fun Festival, JVC, Jazz Festival, Experimental in Buenos Airs, The Music Merge Festival in Tokyo, The Time Festival in Gent, Belgium, Szene Festival in Salzburg, Austria, The Moers Festival in Germany, Willisau and Tacklos Festivals in Switzerland, Saalfalden Jazz Festival in Austria, the LMC Festival in London, Vancouver Costal Jazz Festival, Musique Actuel and the Mimi Festivals in France, the Warsaw Jazz Festival and the Victoriaville Festival in Canada. The story of Opium Wars that of a family involved with opium, smoking it, selling it, and the music sets the story in a very special atmosphere.

    Ana María Simo is a member of New Dramatists.

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