Source: Penguin Books

Last week’s featured star was well-known for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway. This week’s star was lucky enough to play the same role in the feature film!

‘Born Rosa Dolores Alverio on December 11, 1931, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Rita Moreno is best known as Anita in West Side Story in 1961, a role that earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Latina actress to win the honor. Moreno also appeared in the children’s shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company and won an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award.’

Photo Credit: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

These video interviews by Makers are beyond great. They’re short but still give you a really great snapshot of Rita as a person and performer from a historical perspective. She speaks about emigrating to this country, winning an Oscar, having a child, and aging in Hollywood (amongst a million other things). Just keep scrolling through them-I couldn’t stop watching!

Fun Fact: Rita portrayed the role of Tuptim (a Burmese slave girl) in the film King and I which was originally offered to Dorothy Dandridge…who knew?! Side note-I love that the role of the Asian slave girl was offered to both a Black and Latina actress…::sigh::

One of the main reasons I’m featuring Rita today is ::drumroll:: she will be at Barnes and Noble this evening with Lin-Manuel Miranda!! This event coincides with the release of Rita’s new memoir which is being released today! More info on the event can be found on the Barnes and Nobles site here.

Looking to order the book?? Check out Penguin’s site here. There is an audio version (read by her of course) as well.


EVENTS: The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Spotlight Series

Image Credit: Public Theater

Image Credit: Public Theater

Have you heard of this??

Every year the Public Theater hosts a group of emerging playwrights, and in the spring they present free readings of all their shows.

‘EWG, which targets playwrights at the early stages of their career, is part of the Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that supports and develops works by writers throughout their careers. The program has produced 50-70 readings and workshops per season in recent years.’

More detailed information on the program can be found in this Playbill article.

Clickhere for a list of the playwrights, dates/times of the readings, and a brief synopsis of the shows.

The Public’s blog also features the writers. Check it out here.

I went last year and thought it was a really solid opportunity to stay current with the theater community. I was exposed to a lot of promising material and the work was great. An added benefit?? Many of the playwrights and directors are artists of color. Matthew and I will be attending some of shows and hope to cover them on here in the future!

ickets for the Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series are free, but must be reserved in advance by calling the Public Theater Box Office at 212.967.7555.