Staged reading of Latino drama coming to ESU


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Michael Lloret


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Like many young actors in New York City, Michael Lloret, who grew up in East Stroudsburg and is a 2015 graduate of East Stroudsburg University’s Theatre Department, pursues many opportunities to help enhance his career.

While part of a theater development workshop at New York University’s graduate writing program, he was cast in "Machine Learning," a new drama by Francisco Mendoza, an Argentinian-born playwright now living in New York.

In the drama, Jorge, a computer scientist, creates an A.I. nurse to take care of his estranged, alcoholic father who was diagnosed with liver cancer. But, as the machine grows more intelligent, it determines that Jorge's the one who needs help healing.

“I was inspired and moved by this family drama,” Lloret said, “and I thought that it needed to be shared.” His solution was to put together a new producing organization, the Del Monte Theatre Company, which would produce new plays in the Pocono Mountains.

To help him make this company and production a reality, Lloret turned to someone who mentored him for four years at ESU, Margaret J. Ball, D.M.A., professor and chair of theater, in the college of arts and science.

“When Michael came to me, we sat down and made a plan to co-produce the show,” Ball said. “Using the connections he had with the local community and with the Latino community, we looked at fundraising, advertising and possible locations for the production and worked to make the production a reality.”

With the collaboration of the Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center, the Del Monte Theatre Company, in partnership with ESU’s Theatre Department, will present a staged reading of "Machine Learning" on Sunday, July 30, 7 p.m., at the theater, 88 S. Courtland St., East Stroudsburg. The reading is open to the public at no cost.

Carlos Armesto, founding artistic director of Theatre C, an Off-Broadway company known for “blurring the lines between disciplines and cultures,” will direct the reading.

Following the reading, there will be a reception and talk-back with working Latino American media professionals in the lobby of the cinema.

One of the production’s sponsors, the Abomination Brewing Company, a Pocono-based company that uses locally sourced and exotic ingredients to create beers with a very distinctive flavor profile, will host a free beer tasting at the reception for audience members 21 and older.

“Josh Arno, one of the founders of Abomination Brewing, and I met while working at the Shawnee Inn,” Lloret noted, “and now, as young entrepreneurs, we’re collaborating to make our dreams a reality.”

For more information about the staged reading and reception, go to www.facebook.com/machinelearningplay.

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