The Cuban government has revoked the citizenship of playwright Orlando Marcano, accusing him of “disloyalty to the revolution” and creating an “obscene” situation in the theater community, according to a Hollywood Reporter report published Thursday.
Marcano plays a leading role in Marina Cristina Gomez’ critically acclaimed new one-woman show “La Bestia,” which tells the story of a 19th-century slave named Tania, her subsequent escape and eventual migration to the United States.
The playwright also helped establish the Performing Arts Cultural Center, and, more recently, has acted in a series of plays directed by Israeli and Cuban playwright Reza Baraybar.
But according to a new release from the Writers Guild of America, East, Marcano’s work in the theater community is one of the reasons the Cuban government revoked his citizenship, which he is not currently able to regain.
In the release, Union for Cuban Writers and Artists, a dissident group inside the island, is quoted as saying, “They cannot take something from us that has value. There is no shame or irony in this move, in the adoption of the same government’s model, a punitive measure to punish the victim for having exercised his or her freedom and offered them aid.”
Gomez’ production made its world premiere at New York’s Odyssey Theatre in October, and it continues to run on the street-level cabaret stage of the shuttered, downtown Cuban restaurant La Roda.
Gomez, in an open letter to the Cuban government and the country’s top theatre officials, called on them to “reconsider this harsh measure,” and explained, “Let us have free access to the arts.”
“La Bestia” is the second collaboration between Gomez and Marcano, after “Casa de salario” (the House of Reprieve), which premiered in Madrid and chronicled the depraved lives of low-wage, migrant workers in the Andalusian countryside.