Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Light Up the Sky

Premiere: Cuba

Directing team: +

Name Function(s)
Fred Koch Director

Design team: +

Name Function(s)
Gordon Bennett Light designer, Set designer
Jay Franklin Set designer
Frank Galunas Set designer, Makeup designer
Sue Hastings Props designer
Arnold Heller Set designer
Doris Lewins Costume designer
Elison Miller Light designer
Gertrude X. Mooney Choreographer

Production team: +

Name Function(s)
Patronato del Teatro Producer

Advisory team: +

Name Function(s)
Luis Rodríguez Molina General Advisor

Bibliography: +

Notes: +

In March 1950, twenty-seven students and professors from the University of Miami's Players (the Drama Department's Theater Company) traveled to Havana sponsored by Havana's Patronato del Teatro, the U.S. embassy in Cuba, and Dr. Luis Rodríguez-Molina, director of UM’s short-lived Hispanic American Theater Program. This was the Drama Department's first international production. It was also the first U.S. university theater production in Cuba. Finally, according to the research carried out until now, this appears to be the first U.S. university theater production to travel internationally. 

They took Light Up the Sky, which already had had 25 performances at The Ring. According to several reviews published in Miami, "this fast-moving three-act play was enthusiastically received by Cuban audiences." A series of photographs taken by Larry Fried documents their three-day trip including the hotel in which they stayed, several sightseeing tours, students in candid poses, and one photograph of the performance itself. The trip ended with a private party at the exclusive Havana Yacht Club organized by Dr. Baldomero Gray, then president of the Patronato del Teatro.

Cooper, Mike. "Drama Department Goes South: Light Up the Sky Cast Works and Plays in Havana." The Miami Tempo. Volume 1, Apr. 1950: 18-19. 

MacAbee, Doris A. "'Magnifico' Say Cuban and Americans of 'Sky's' 3-Day Havana Showing." The Miami Hurricane. 24 Mar. 1950. Microfilm

University of Miami Libraries, University Archives, ASU0642, Box 27, Folder 20.

Author: Anjoly Ibrahim (SPA 321, Spring 2010), Lillian Manzor (2012-04-20)

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