By Cándido Tirado
Directed by Edward Torres
Originally produced at Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL.
April 7, 2012 through May 6, 2012
About the Premiere Production: On a hot summer day in Washington Square Park, New York, a group of chess wizards engage in spirited matches hoping to lure unsuspecting players into a high-stakes hustle. Their patience is soon rewarded with the appearance of Rey Reyes, a young student who naively agrees to their challenge. But as the game progresses, the hustlers become the hustled—revealing the traumatic circumstances that lie at the heart of each player’s obsession with the game. With biting humor and unexpected pathos, Fish Men focuses on a group of unforgettable characters, drawn together by a shared need to overcome their individual demons.
Artistic Statement: Drawing from the real-life phenomenon of chess players in the parks of many of America’s major cities, Tirado has written a script which calls for an all-male, multi-cultural cast of characters which represents a rich tapestry of cultural backgrounds. Over the course of the play, each of these characters finds that their interactions open up old wounds in a verbal battleground that keeps apace with the competitive chess games they play throughout. Poignant and at times wickedly funny, this new work explores the phenomenon of the American “melting pot” and the strategies undertaken by each of us to cope with past trauma and defend ourselves for the future.
-Robert Falls, Artistic Director
Grant Statement: With Fish Men, the Goodman continues to manifest core institutional values of quality, diversity and community while pursuing an institutional priority of developing new work for the American theater cannon. The Goodman is pleased to present this new work which will spotlight the talents of emerging Latino artists in the American theater and believes the play portrays universal themes which will be accessible to a broad range of audience members.
-Roche Schulfer, Executive Director
Director: Edward Torres
Additional Funders: The Sara Lee Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Glasser & Rosenthal Family