2016 Season

Into the Beautiful North

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Written by Karen Zacarias
Directed by Gary Graves
Produced in: 2016

World Premiere #53: a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

NOV 17, 18, 19 at 8pm and NOV 20 at 5pm!
We are fully reserved on Nov 18, 19 and 20.  Please call the box office for information about the waiting list: (510) 558.1381


Written by Karen Zacarías (an inaugural playwright-in-residence at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage), and based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea, Into the Beautiful North is inspired by the classic Hollywood western The Magnificent Seven (which was itself inspired by The Seven Samurai).

Young Nayeli leaves her home in a sleepy little seaside town in Sinaloa, Mexico, with her two best friends. They are determined to go north, on a bold quest, across the border, to bring back seven Magnificent Mexican Men to defend their town from drug dealers and corrupt policemen.

The epic journey takes the small band of intrepid adventurers from Mexico, north to San Diego, and finally, of all places, to Kankakee, Illinois. Along the way, they meet a remarkable array of odd characters in a poignant odyssey full of beauty, humor, and bizarre encounters—“a joyful, timely tale of one irresistible young woman’s quest to define herself without borders.”

Production Sponsor: Kathleen Kahn

This production is also made possible with the generous support of the Actors Equity Foundation, City of Berkeley Civic Arts Grants Program, RHE Foundation, W & F Hewlitt Foundation, Wilder Green Art Fund, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

A NNPN Rolling World Premiere in partnership with Milagro Theatre Portland (OR), San Diego Repertory Theatre (CA), and 16th Street Theater (IL).


Recommended by the Theatre Bay Area Awards

North-TBA Rec
Kitty Torres, Samanta Yunuen Cubias, Rudy Guerrero*

* member AEA


Carlos Barrera
Caleb Cabrera
Samanta Yunuen Cubias
Leticia Duarte

Rudy Guerrero*
Ben Ortega
Richard Talavera
Kitty Torres

Costume design: Tammy Berlin
Lighting design: Gary Graves
Prop design: Debbie Shelley
Sound design: Gregory Scharpen
Stage manager: Vanessa Ramos

*member AEA


aren Zacarías is one of the most produced Latina playwrights in the nation. An inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, she is also a core founder of the LATINO THEATRE COMMONS as well as the founder of Young Playwrights Theater, an award winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC.  Ms. Zacarías’ plays have been produced across the country at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Goodman, Denver Center, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, and many more. Her awards include: New Voices Award, 2010 Steinberg Citation-Best New Play, Paul Aneillo Award, National Francesca Primus Prize, New Voices Award, National Latino Play Award, Finalist Susan Blackburn, Helen Hayes for Outstanding New Play.

Into the Beautiful North by Karen Zacarías and
based on the novel by Luis Alberto Urrea, turns
the classic western The Magnificent Seven
(based on the Kurasawa classic, Seven Samurai)
on it’s head. (l to r): Kitty Torres as Vampi, Samanta
Yunuen Cubias as Nayeli, and Rudy Guerrero* as
as Tacho, on their journey al Norte!

Photo by J. Norrena

(l to r front): Vampi (Kitty Torres), Nayeli (Samanta
Yunuen Cubias) and Tacho (Rudy Guerrero*)
seek shelter for the night with (behind) Araceli
(Leticia Duarte) and Porfirio (Richard Talavera) in
their home atop the Tijuana dump.

Photo by J. Norrena

Atomiko (Caleb Cabrera), the Master of the
Tijuana dump, becomes the loyal protector of
Nayeli and her valiant friends on their journey
Into the Beautiful North.

Photo by J. Norrena

All photos: ACT OUT Photography by Jim Norrena

* member AEA

The intrepid trio know they’ve reached the USA
when they see a policeman (Carlos Barrera) ride by
on a bike in Into the Beautiful North by Karen Zacarías.

Photo by J. Norrena

Into the Beautiful North will leave you saddened, entertained and moved. What more can you ask for?” -C. Brousse, Pacific Sun

“If you can see this show, don’t hesitate!  You will laugh, you may cry, and hopefully, you will comprehend a bit of the lives of people who have to cross many borders.” -B.R. Garcia, Theatrius

“Catch this wonderful show” -A. Pines, Pink Egg Media

“Central Works’ Latino characters defy stereotype.” -L. Janiak, SF Gate

“It’s well worth th trip: a rare and special experience.” -S. Dunn, Theatrius

“something distinct, priceless and worthwhile” -A. Brinklow, EdgeMedia

“What makes this quixotic quest engaging nonetheless is how deeply Nayeli and friends are invested in it.” -S. Hurwitt, San Jose Mercurey News

Into the Beautiful North makes the Berkeleyside “IT LIST.:

East Bay Express lists “North” in its Top East Bay Theater Events

Karen Zacarías just named one of top 20 most produced American playwrights by American Theatre!

Watch the trailer:

Hear Sami, Kitty and Rudy interviewed on KALW’s Open Air:


Check out the Beautiful North Blog!

Learn more about playwright, Karen Zacarías.

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea is listed as a National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read”

Here’s Luis Alberto Urrea, who wrote the novel, Into the Beautiful North, from which the play is adapted.

What’s a Rolling World Premiere, and who is NNPN (the National New Play Network)?