News: Boundless Theatre to Stage US Premiere of "Mercado Libre"

Image courtesy Boundless Theatre
At a time when craft categories are not receiving the dues they deserve in the film and theater world comes a model theater company ahead of its time in giving recognition and a voice to industry players that have long deserved it. Not only is Boundless Theatre (BT) led by female designers and designers of color, but their plays explore themes that challenge our social agreements, elevate humanity and honor the human condition.

This is exactly what BT's newest production, Mercado Libre, intends to do when it premieres on June 3rd, 2022 at the Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center (1680 Lexington Avenue) in East Harlem, El Barrio, NYC. The award-winning Mercado Libre will explore the challenges of human dignity under capitalism, a topic that is vital to our current sociopolitical moment. The play, which runs until June 12th, is written in Spanish by playwright Luis Araújo, and it comes to the NYC stage after receiving accolades throughout its European stints. This is the first time ever that the show will be presented in the US and to a New York City audience.

Directed by Ismanuel Rodríguez, Mercado Libre tells the story of the complicated, and often dark, relationship between an influential lawyer and an undocumented prostitute; a duel between two characters played by seasoned Latinx theater actors Gerardo Gudiño and Diana Pou ensues and brings to life the embodiment of a broken system we cannot seem to escape. At its core, the play offers an almost clinical exploration of how capitalism informs our lives to the point that we distort the concepts of what is and isn’t valuable, and live blind to social injustice. In this distorted but normalized existence everything has a price, even life.

Bringing artists from Puerto Rico to NYC, the play also features a Latinx creative team producing Spanish-language professional theater, diversifying the professional theater offerings available in NYC. The play will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

“Audiences can expect to walk out of the play having witnessed a parallel universe, awakened to the ways in which our concepts of love, humanity, of what has value or doesn’t are distorted daily. This is truly an unconventional piece both in subject matter and the production itself. The scenic images not only arise from reality, but also from the psychology of the characters," shared Rodríguez.

Boundless Theatre is no stranger to using its platform as a space to work out powerful conversations and foster actions that positively transform the world. Led by designers, an uncommon practice in an industry where companies are mainly led by actors, the company runs several programs that support diversifying the theater industry. These include Boundless Exposed, a mentoring program for early career designers of color, a highly underrepresented group in professional theater; and El Barrio Raíces, an annual, free-of-charge summer theater program offering bilingual, age-appropriate arts curriculum designed by experienced theater professionals to children living in NYC, among others. El Barrio Raíces, Spanish for “the roots of the neighborhood,” will take place July 12th – July 29th at JDBPAC. 

Said BT’s Executive Artistic Director María-Cristina Fusté, “This year we are back in full force with all in person programming that will be accessible to all. We continue our cultural exchange with Puerto Rico, by hosting Puerto Rican director Ismanuel Rodríguez, we produced our second short film, Cupido Trae Correspondencia, as part of our program for older adults, Boundless de Oro, and continue to bring to the stage exciting material that represents our communities and gives voice to those that don’t have one. Our company is led by designers and as such, we thrive in creating visually mesmerizing work that takes the audience on a sensorial journey.” 

With Mercado Libre, Boundless Theatre continues its artist residency at the Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center, sponsored by the center and the Hispanic Federation, that will allow them to further spread these programs across the city.

All NYC and CDC safety protocols will be followed at performances of Mercado Libre. The use of a mask is mandatory. Get tickets at

#BoundlessTheatre | #MercadoLibre


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