William Clark


Anna in the Tropics

Every Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat., and Sun. from Feb. 11-March 12
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from Feb. 11-March 12
2 p.m.

“The best time to do the work of Nilo Cruz is in the winter in Minneapolis,” says director Larissa Kokernot. “It evokes such a totally different climate. It’s thick and it’s hot and it’s tropical and it’s humid, so you get to escape to this tropical environment for a sweeping romantic journey.” A local stage vet (Eye of the Storm Theatre, Ten Thousand Things) now based in L.A., Kokernot is returning to her home state to helm the Jungle Theater’s production of Anna in the Tropics, the Nilo Cruz play that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Set in a Tampa cigar factory in the 1920s, the play centers on a group of Cuban Americans whose lives begin to blur with the lives of the characters in Anna Karenina as they listen to the novel read aloud while they work. “I love his language,” says Kokernot about Cruz. “It’s rich and poetic and romantic in its themes, and he’s really rooted in history. The play is extremely evocative of this time and this place.”