46 pages 1 hour read

Nilo Cruz

Anna In The Tropics

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2003

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Teacher Introduction

Anna in the Tropics

  • Genre: Fiction; historical drama
  • Originally Published: 2003
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 10-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: Two acts; approximately 132 pages; approximately 1 hour, 49 minutes of running time
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The play is set in a Cuban American cigar factory near Tampa, Florida in 1929 in a small town called Ybor City. The central characters include a lector named Juan Julian, who is hired to read literature to the factory workers as they roll cigars. The central conflict revolves around the impact of Juan Julian reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, which ignites passions and conflicts within the factory workers’ lives, as the lines between fiction and reality blur.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Contains sexual themes, including sexual assault; depiction of an affair; violence; themes of industrialization and cultural change

Nilo Cruz, Author

  • Bio: Born 1960; grew up in Miami after immigrating from Cuba; earned a MFA in theater from Brown University; works often explore his Cuban heritage and the immigrant experience; first Latino playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; worked as a playwright-in-residence; taught playwriting at various universities; celebrated for his poetic and romantic style
  • Other Works: Night Train to Bolina (1994); Dancing on Her Knees (1996); A Bicycle Country (1999); Two Sisters and a Piano (2000); Lorca in a Green Dress (2003); Beauty of the Father (2004); Hurricane (2009); Sotto Voce (2014)
  • Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Drama (2003); Steinberg Award for Best New Play (2003)

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