Alonso Alegría

Author, Crossing Niagara

Alonso came to the fore of international attention as a dramatist in 1969 with the Lima premiere and acclaim of his second drama, El cruce sobre el Niágara and, especially, with its recognition by the Casa de las Américas as the best play of that year.

Since then El cruce sobre el Niágara has been performed hundreds of times throughout Europe and the Americas on stage, radio, and even television in the Czech Republic and Poland. He has finished two plays since El cruce: El color de Chambalen (1981) and Daniela Frank (1982). These pieces are of unusual interest because they distinguish Alegría as somewhat of an anomaly among Hispanic American dramatists today: he has become a bilingual and bicultural director and composer intent on creating within and for each of the linguistic and cultural worlds in which he so ably functions.

The fact that he has translated and directed his first three plays in English and the fourth was originally composed in English, for instance, clearly underlines the dual nature of Alegría’s talents.