Flora Lauten and Raquel Carrio

February 4–March 8, 2015

Webster University and the Office of Corporate Partnerships welcomed Cuba’s most celebrated theater duo—Raquel Carrio and Flora Lauten as Global Leaders in Residence in the College of Arts and Sciences. The co-founders of the Cuban theater company, Teatro Buendia, spent five weeks in St. Louis sharing their expertise in literary adaptation, translation, and theatrical production with the community through a series of workshops and public events.

Teatro Buendía, formed in 1986 by graduates from the Higher Institute of Arts, Havana, and directed by Flora Lauten, is Cuba's most celebrated theater company. Since its foundation, it has developed two parallel lines of work: the production of theater spectacles, and a permanent research center investigating Latin American and Caribbean cultural traditions, the expressive possibilities of the actor, and the renewal of scenic languages. Raquel Carrío is a playwright who partners with Lauten to create original plays and adapt iconic literary works for the stage. Lauten and Carrio’s work is highly regarded in their native Cuba and around the world.

Though their work has taken them around the world, Lauten and Carrio’s residency at Webster is one of very few professional visits to the United States for the two of them—a rarity due, in part, to diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Cuba which have limited travel. Lauten and Carrio’s five-week residency at Webster arrived on the heels of President Obama’s decision to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, and it was the longest stay in the history of the Global Leaders in Residence program.