In order to brighten the spotlight on Latino performing arts, Pregones Theater in the Bronx and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Manhattan are said to be making the cross boroughs reach to merge together and become a powerhouse in showcasing the theatrical creativity the Latino community has to show.
According to Rosalba Rolón–the artistic director of Pregones and one of its founders—describes the merger as being “about our collective future, while preserving and important legacy we can both expand the reach of our work with that uptown-downtown flow and consolidate the administrative aspects. It’s very exciting.”
Founded in 1979, Pregones has a performing arts building located at 571 Walton Avenue just south of Yankee Stadium. The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater was founded in 1967 by actor Miriam Colón Valle and is located at 304 West 47th Street within a firehouse that has been renovated to house the theater troupe.
Valle Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has been its acting artistic director for many years and after the merge will continue on as the founding artistic adviser. “It will be two forces working as one,” Ms. Valle said, about the new endeavor taken on by the two theaters.
Over the course of 12 years both theaters have worked together in producing 8 co-productions, Valle describes how, “Artistically, we will not clash. Long before the merger we were doing projects together.”
The combination is sure to benefit the Latino community because both performing art institutions contain elements the other needs. Pregones is stocked with professional actors, musicians, dancers, and performance professionals meanwhile the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has a strong training program for actors and playwrights.
Despite the combining of the two artistic houses, the theaters will retain their current names but legally become one institution. As one performance institution the budget projected for the new institution is expected to be around $2.2 million due to the individual budgets. Prior to the proposed merge, Pregones holds a $1.4 million budget while the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has a $350,000 budget.
Although not official until Monday, November 4th, due to the approval needing to be signed off by the attorney general in Albany, Rolón expects the deal to be inked by the end of the year. The announcement of the unison is expected to be made in a ceremony at the Time Warner Center in order to not show what the theaters has to offer as a duo but pull in funders to help renovate and expand the programs within the theaters.
Like the developing story, the show will go on and surly the merger will bring forth a happy ending.