Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Photos: Deonna Bouye, Alfredo Huereca, Socorro Santiago, Charles Socarides in World Premiere of ‘Guadalupe in the Guest Room’ by Tony Meneses at Two River Theater through March 15

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2014/15 Season with Guadalupe in the Guest Room, a new play by Tony Meneses, directed by Daniella Topol. The production began previews on February 14 and will continue through March 15, 2015, with the opening night set for Friday, February 27 at 8pm. Tickets starting at $20 and ticket packages for Two River’s spring season of three world premieres are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.orgGuadalupe in the Guest Room is supported by lead production sponsor U.S. Trust.

All Photos: T. Charles Erickson

Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) and Alfredo Huereca (Roberto) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater.  Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) and Alfredo Huereca (Roberto) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Guadalupe in the Guest Room tells the story of two people—with nothing in common but a shared grief—who bond in the most unexpected ways. The play is a deeply moving and very funny celebration of life, new beginnings, and the healing power of telenovelas. The cast includes Deonna Bouye (Raquel), Alfredo Huereca (Roberto), Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe), and Charles Socarides (Steve).

Charles Socarides (Steve) and Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater.  Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Charles Socarides (Steve) and Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Guadalupe in the Guest Room is an exquisite play,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “The writing is warm and often very funny, and the characters are exquisitely drawn, so real you feel like they’re your friends. Tony Meneses achieves something I have never seen so beautifully captured: the state of confusion when you’re surrounded by a language not your own—and the joy of a connection that transcends language. Infused through the entire piece is a bittersweet sense of loss, the ache that underscores everything when a loved one has been lost.”

Alfredo Huereca and Deonna Bouye in a telenovela scene from Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater.  Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Alfredo Huereca and Deonna Bouye in a telenovela scene from Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Playwright Tony Meneses is currently a 2015/2016 Ars Nova Play Group Resident Playwright and a 2014/2015 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow. He is the recipient of The Kennedy Center ACTF Latino Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the National Latino Playwriting Award.

Charles Socarides (Steve) and Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater.  Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Charles Socarides (Steve) and Socorro Santiago (Guadalupe) in Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Director Daniella Topol’s recent world-premiere productions include Martyna Majok’s Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre) and Cori Thomas’s When January Feels Like Summer (EST/P73). She directed A Wind in the Willows Christmas at Two River last season.

The creative team for Guadalupe in the Guest Room includes scenic designer Marion Williams, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jiyoun Chang, sound designer Jane Shaw, and wig designer Erin Hicks. The fight director is J. Steven White, the dialect coach isRosie Berrido, the casting is by Zoe Rotter, and the production stage manager is Kate Croasdale.

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $45 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

Nosotros: A Day at the Theater
March 7, 2015 from 2:30-4:30pm
A special afternoon for parents, grandparents, and children!
At this special performance, Guadalupe in the Guest Room will be translated into Spanish via a screen visible to the audience. The performance will last from 3-4:30 pm. While the adults in the family watch the play, their children and grandchildren will enjoy stories, theater games, and snacks in the theater lobby under the supervision of bilingual teaching artists and babysitters. These family-friendly events will take place between the hours of 2:30 and 4:30pm. This special event is presented as part of Two River’s ongoing Nosotrosseries and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theater festival that provides discounted and free theater performances, workshops and, events for all ages throughout the month of March. Tickets for this performance are $10; patrons should use the code “Spanish captions” when booking.

Inside Two River
Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit or call 732.345.1400.  

Arts & Crafts: Make Your Own Sugar Skull Valentine
Thursday, February 12 from 7-9pm

Local artist Lisa Marie O’Connell will guide participants through the process of decorating flower pots with painted Mexican sugar skulls and handmade colorful paper flowers. Sugar skulls, a tradition dating back to the 18th century, are given to the living and the dead in the Mexican culture, similar to giving valentines as a way to say, “I love you forever.” Participants will also get behind-the-scenes insights intoGuadalupe in the Guest Room from Literary Manager Anika Chapin. Cost: $10 per person (includes: supplies and light snacks). Reservations and payment required prior to event. Patrons can book a spot by calling Two River Theater’s box office at 732.345.1400 or visiting

Special post-play discussion with Brian Eugenio Herrera
Wednesday, February 18 following the 1pm matinee performance
Brian Eugenio Herrera is Assistant Professor of Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. His book Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth Century U.S. Popular Performance is forthcoming from University of Michigan Press.

Book Club: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Sunday, March 8 at 4:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library (following the 3pm performance) 
Guadalupe in the Guest Room is a new play about a Mexican woman, Guadalupe, who must learn to find a connection with her American son-in-law after the unexpected death of her daughter. Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, tells of her attempt to find healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after the devastating death of her mother. Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of love, loss, and unexpected sources of healing.

The Art of Dealing with Life-Changing Events
Saturday, March 14 from 4:30–6pm in the Two River Theater Lobby
Using the characters from Guadalupe in the Guest Room as examples, Resilience Strategist Barbara Rubel will lead workshop attendees through the Palette of Grief: The Art of Dealing with Life-Changing Events. This hands-on activity visually captures emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and physical and spiritual reactions due to difficult life events, allowing attendees to explore their unique loss experiences and find meaning in grief. Important to note: This activity should not be completed when a person has recently experienced a loss and is acutely feeling intense reactions. Also, no participant will be expected to share their experiences with the group. The activity can be completely with or without collaboration from other attendees. There is no cost to attend this workshop. Space is limited and RSVPs are strongly suggested. Patrons can book a spot by calling Two River Theater’s box office at 732.345.1400 or

Audience Extras
Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn more about this production in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, February 25 at 7 pm; Sunday, March 1 at 3pm; and Wednesday, March 4 at 1pm.

Access and Virtual Tour
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 1pm and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail

Thursday, February 19 at 8pm
Friday, February 20 at 8pm
Saturday, February 21 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, February 22 at 3pm
Wednesday February 25 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, February 26 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, February 27 at 8pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, February 28 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 1 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 4 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, March 5 at 10am (student matinee) and at 8pm
Friday, March 6 at 8pm
Saturday, March 7 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 8 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 11 at 1pm and 7pmT
Thursday, March 12 at 10am (student matinee) and at 8pm
Friday, March 13 at 8pm
Saturday, March 14 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 15 at 3pm

Guadalupe in the Guest Room is supported by lead sponsor U.S. Trust. Inside Two River is sponsored by The William T. Morris Foundation. The Before Play series is sponsored by Zager Fuchs, PC.

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Investors Bank, Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, creates great American theater performed by award-winning artists. We produce American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater; invites its audience to be part of the creative process through readings and open rehearsals; and cultivates students and young people to participate in innovative arts-education programs and become a new generation of theatergoers. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater. For more information, visit or call 732.345.1400.

Deonna Bouye, Alfredo Huereca, Socorro Santiago, Charles Socarides set for World Premiere of ‘Guadalupe in the Guest Room’ by Tony Meneses at Two River Theater; February 14-March 15

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Lunar New Year -Year of the Ram in New York Chinatown, China Institute, Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka at Met, MoCA
Mar. 8- 29: Pursuit of the Perfect Plate: tokyo fish story Premieres at South Coast Repertory starring Lawrence Kao, Jully Lee, Eddie Mui, Sab Shimono and Ryun Yu
Feb. 25- Mar. 1: Patrice Johnson Chevannes, Nana Mensah and Christine Osuala Set for National Black Theatre’s Workshop Production of Mfoniso Udofia’s HER PORTMANTEAU, Helmed by Victor Maog
15 Minutes with Victor Maog, Artistic Director of 2g
Rebecca Naomi Jones, Bobby Steggert, Emmanuel Brown, Lynn Cohen and More Set for Charles Mee’s BIG LOVE at Signature Theatre; Opens February 23
Video: BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY’s Stephen Adly Guirgis, actor Stephen McKinley Henderson and director Austin Pendleton set for THEATER TALK
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016
The American Playwriting Foundation Creates The Relentless Award to Honor the late Philip Seymour Hoffman Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC
The Greene Space at WNYC presents Preview Screenings of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT; Conversation with Amy Chua, Awkwafina & Jay Smooth, moderated by Jeff Yang
Video and Photos: BD Wong and Russell Wong Guest Star on ‘NCIS: NEW ORLEANS’, Episode 1.13 – The Walking Dead
MTC Run of World Premiere of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, starring Jennifer Lim, Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jo Mei, James Saito and Sue Jin Song, Begins Previews February 3
The Drama Book Shop Video: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Advantageous, Oh Lucy!, Meru, Umrika, The Chinese Mayor, The Stanford Prison Experiment Among 2015 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners
Photos: Lillias White, Scott Wakefield, Ebony Jo-Ann, Tina Fabrique, Marjorie Johnson, Akin Babatundé, Alan Govenar and More at TEXAS IN PARIS at The York Theatre Company
New York City Blizzard Does Not Deter Broadway Icon Chita Rivera From Performing in Concert Taping for THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Series
Feb. 20-Mar. 27: Trestle Gallery Presents “Swimming Awkward Moment,” the newest works by painter Arlan Huang
Novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells, and John W. Kuo of Varian Medical Systems, to receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards on February 23
Mar. 4: Tony Award-Winner Lillias White, Carol Fredette & More to be Honored at 30th Annual Bistro Awards at Gotham Comedy Club
Unsuk Chin’s Opera Alice in Wonderland, Featuring Libretto Co-Written with David Henry Hwang, Set for UK Premiere at the Barbican Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Novels on March 8, 2015
Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I, Starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Kick off Rehearsals; Previews Begin March 12
Broadway Bound Doctor Zhivago Featuring Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu and More Kicks Off Rehearsal; Previews Begin March 27
The Old Globe Presents World Premiere of Christopher Gattelli Helmed IN YOUR ARMS Featuring Vignettes written by David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry, September 16 – October 25
Rajiv Joseph Wins Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for New Play Guards at the Taj; Set for World Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Photos: Fashion Designer Josie Natori at New Boutique in Nolita; Honored by Asian Cultural Council
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at


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