Approximately 100 guests including celebrated figures of the Broadway and Off-Broadway community attended a special film screening of Theatre of Rice and Beansat New York’s Tribeca Cinemas May 12, 2014.The film, directed by School of Theatre + Dance professors Tony Mata and Ralf Remshardt, was first screened at UF in January and is a tribute to the history of Latino theatre and to René Buch, Miriam Colón and Max Ferrá, the founders of New York City’s three most influential Latino playhouses.
Mata says watching guests, including Buch, Colón and Ferrá, enjoy the film was the highlight of his life, both emotionally and artistically.
“People kept saying that the film was a gift to the theatre, to the Broadway community and to our community,” said Mata. “People were laughing, they were crying. It was amazing to be able to offer a permanent record of the history of these great theatres.”
Remshardt and Mata agree that the most memorable part of the screening was having the three honorees in attendance to see the tribute to their lives’ work.
“Having the three of them there made all the difference,” said Remshardt. “They had been laboring so long under such trying and challenging circumstances that I think they were quite surprised that anyone had taken the time and care we had with their story. And, of course, we had been laboring so long to put the film together that it was great validation to see how well received it was.”
Timothy Brophy, director of institutional assessment in the Office of the Provost, was also in attendance. He presented Buch, Colón and Ferrá with UF’s President’s Medallion.
Mata and Remshardt are now working to streamline the film and prepare it for wider exposure. Later this month the film will make its way to the U.K. for a screening at the FIRT/IFTR World Congress at the University of Warwick. Other possible locations for film screenings include Miami and Santa Fe, New Mexico.