Anna in the Tropics

Anna In The Tropics

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Anna in the Tropics

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Anna in the Tropics is a play by Nilo Cruz.

When Cuban immigrants brought the cigar-making industry to Florida in the 19th Century, they carried with them another tradition. As the workers toiled away in the factory hand rolling each cigar, the lector, (historically well-dressed and well-spoken), would read to them. It was the lector who informed, organized and entertained the workers until the 1930s, when the rollers and the readers were replaced by mechanization.

Ybor City, a section of Tampa, was the center of the cigar industry, and it serves as the setting for Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Recognition

Anna in the Tropics was widely regarded as a "long shot" for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, mainly because it had not been seen in New York. The play premiered at the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida and had to compete with Edward Albee’s The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia? and Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out for the coveted award.

Cruz, a Cuban-born playwright living in New York, quoted, “It’s wonderful. I cannot believe it. The other day I went to the bookstore and I saw a book by William Kennedy. He won the Pulitzer for Ironweed, which I adore. I was standing there looking at his books and thinking how amazing it was that this writer won a Pulitzer, and now I’ve been given one, too. I think I’m still in shock. I haven’t completely acknowledged the grandness of the award.”

His past works, such as Two Sisters and a Piano,...
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