School of the Americas

  • Date:
    July 1, 2006

    Written by: Jose Rivera
    Directed by: Mark Wing-Davey
    Cast: Karina Arroyave, Raul Castillo, Nathan LeBron, John Ortiz, Felix Solis and Patricia Velasquez
    Synopsis: In the Bolivian jungle, Che Guevara is captured and held in a one-room schoolhouse. For two days the Bolivian President nor the U.S. State Department is able to decide Che�s fate. The young schoolteacher of the village insists that she be given permission to speak to the famous revolutionary. Her conversations with Che � based on historical fact � are the heart of the play.

    What the critics had to say.....

    JASON ZINOMAN of the NEW YORK TIMES: �The director Mark Wing-Davey and his designers have done their part, nicely invoking the loneliness and dusty environs of a ramshackle Bolivian town. But what Mr. Rivera comes up with is a fairly banal, undramatic romance.�

    MICHAEL SOMMERS of the STAR-LEDGER: "Whatever charisma Guevara possessed never manifests itself in "School of the Americas," a new and remarkably lifeless play regarding his final days."

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY: "British director Mark Wing-Davey, who has staged some of Caryl Churchill's most chilling political work, appears helpless to sharpen the script's toothless, generic attacks on the United States, the Soviets, the Bolivians and Fidel."

    DAVID COTE of TIME OUT NY: "Neither Velasquez�s unfussy performance, Ortiz�s grungily passionate one nor Mark Wing-Davey�s tight, lucid staging manages to brush the dust off this overly reverent anecdote."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of the ASSOCIATED PRESS: "An inert reimagining of the Cuban revolutionary's last days. Plodding conversation between what should be two combustible people."

    DAVID ROONEY of VARIETY says "Wing-Davey's direction does little to alleviate the static nature of the play's succession of two-character scenes. The writer has a lot on his mind regarding war and peace, heroism, sacrifice and defeat, but he fails to summon a bold spirit worthy of his subject."

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    Time Out NY
    Associated Press