The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona


The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona

September 4 - October 7, 2018
Gil Cates Theater

World Premiere
Written by José Rivera
Directed by Jo Bonney
Featuring Cate Scott Campbell, Ricardo Chavira, Zilah Mendoza, Onahoua Rodriguez & Juan Francisco Villa

The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona earns points for imaginative audacity… blending the real with the surreal.” – Los Angeles Times
“Ricardo Chavira is charismatic... Onahoua Rodriguez captures our imagination.” – Los Angeles Times
“An imaginitive tale! Superb cast... Ricardo Chavira is magnetic as Orlando.” – Stage and Cinema
“The play shines brightly... Standout performances.” – Broadway World

How many of us have wished for one more chance to say the right thing? A Better Orpheus Inc. provides an alternative to regret—a service that allows the living to communicate with the dead. When Nikki Corona loses her twin sister, A Better Orpheus puts her in touch with Orlando, a man dying too young. The ensuing love story leads to a quest through a vivid, fantastical afterlife as Orlando learns whether Nikki’s message to her sister has the ability to transcend death.

In the rich literary tradition of magical realism and inspired by Dante’s Inferno comes a brand new play by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Obie Award-winning playwright José Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot). Directed by Drama Desk Award winner and Geffen alum Jo Bonney (By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Cost of Living), this stunning world premiere suggests that with love, all things are possible.

Recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award

Major support for this world premiere production provided by the Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund

Raising the Curtain on Latinx Theater in L.A. — Saturday, October 6
Please join us for a panel discussion exploring the rich legacy of Latinx theater in Los Angeles, moderated by Oscar Garza (producer, KPCC’s The Frame) and featuring artists on the front lines of Latinx theater.
Free to attend, click for more information.

$20 Mobile Rush tickets will be available at 9:00 a.m. each performance day on a first-come, first-served basis through TodayTix.




Meet The Artists

JOSÉ RIVERA (Playwright)
The first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Academy Award, for The Motorcycle Diaries, Rivera is also the author of 26 full-length plays including the Obie Award-winning Marisol and References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot, both produced at the Public Theater, New York. Other plays include Cloud Tectonics (Playwrights Horizons), School of the Americas (Public Theater), The Maids (INTAR), Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR), Massacre (Sing to Your Children) (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Brainpeople (ACT, San Francisco), Sonnets for an Old Century (Barrow Group), Another Word for Beauty (Goodman Theatre), Boleros for the Disenchanted (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Street of the Sun (Mark Taper Forum), Sueño (Manhattan Class Company) and Lovesong (Imperfect) (Chaskis Theatre, London). Screenplays include On the RoadThe 33TradeLetters to Juliet and A Thousand Miles to Freedom. Rivera co-created and produced the NBC series Eerie, Indiana, and has written pilots for HBO, TNT and Showtime. Awards include a Fulbright Arts Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, a Whiting Foundation Award and New York Council for the Arts grant. Rivera has mentored the Sundance Screenwriting Lab in Utah, Jordan and India, and leads the New York-based Writers Group.

JO BONNEY (Director)
Jo Bonney has directed the premieres of productions including Lynn Nottage’s Mlima’s Tale; Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living; Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars; Hammaad Chaudry’s An Ordinary Muslim; John Pollono’s Rules of Seconds; Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, The Break of Noon and Miss Julie; David Rabe’s An Early History of Fire; Paul Lucas’ Trans Scripts; Eve Ensler’s Emotional Creature; Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Drama Desk & Lucille Lortel nominations for Best Director); Culture Clash’s American Night; Naomi Wallace’s The Hard Weather Boating Party and Fever Chart; Michael Weller’s Beast; Alan Ball’s All That I Will Ever Be; José Rivera’s Adoration of the Old Woman and References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot; Will Power’s The Seven (Lucille Lortel Best Musical); Darci Picoult’s Lil’s 90th; Christopher Shinn’s On the Mountain; Universes’ Slanguage/Universes; Diana Son’s Stop Kiss and Anna Deavere Smith’s House Arrest; Jessica Goldberg’s Good Thing; Danny Hoch’s Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop; Eric Bogosian’s Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead and Humpty Dumpty, among others. In addition, she has directed Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A; John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair and Lost Girls; Lanford Wilson’s The Mound Builders; Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics; Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls; Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July (Lucille Lortel Best Revival); Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play and Lisa Loomer’s Living Out. Bonney is the recipient of an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction, a Lilly Award, as well as an Audelco Award. She is also the editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century.

Now At The Geffen

Upcoming Shows & Events

. August 2019
September 2019
October 2019

Performance Info

2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission.

This production contains loud noises.