Making Dreamer: An Oratorio of Immigration with Nilo Cruz

Lecture | March 14 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater

 Nilo Cruz

 Arts + Design

Composer Jimmy López and playwright Nilo Cruz collaborate on a new oratorio for orchestra, chorus, and soprano, entitled Dreamer. Performed with the LA Philharmonic. The piece will explore the US immigrant experience, in particular that of Dreamers—undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—and what it means for cities to provide sanctuary from prosecution and deportation. It will be presented by Cal Performances in Zellerbach Hall March 15 - 17.
Nilo Cruz is a Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around
the United States and Europe. His plays have been performed at the McCarter Theatre, New York’s Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Magic Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many others. Internationally, his work has been produced in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Russia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, and in cities throughout Spain. In 2003 Cruz won the Pulitzer Prize and the Steinberg Award for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics and was nominated for a Tony Award. Cruz is a frequent collaborator with composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Together they have completed a set of orchestral songs, La centinela y la paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), for soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (premiered under the baton of Joana Carneiro in 2011); The Saint Maker for soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and the Berkeley Symphony in 2013; and Journey of the Shadow for narrator and ensemble (San Francisco Chamber Orchestra premiere in 2013).

Course Description: Co-taught by Peter Glazer and Stan Lai, this series will explore the specific and metaphoric connections amongst Creative action—adapting Stan Lai’s concepts and training—and the possibility of personal, cultural, and social transformation. How do we understand movement, migration, and change both metaphorically and literally? How do artists working in literature, visual art, film, performance, and design explore and enact transformation? Aside from featuring insight into the works and creative methods of Asia’s Stan Lai, the series will also delve into current trends in Latino-American/Latino arts, as well as European and African art and performance.

Arts + Design Thursdays is made possible thanks to support from the Big Ideas Courses Program in the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley and from generous supporters of Berkeley Arts + Design. For more information, visit

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 All Audiences