Home » Uncategorized » Latina Playwright Desi Moreno-Penson’s exploration of a dysfunctional Cuban family (via ancient Greek themes) is on display in EL BACALAO: The Catfish Man

Latina Playwright Desi Moreno-Penson’s exploration of a dysfunctional Cuban family (via ancient Greek themes) is on display in EL BACALAO: The Catfish Man

A duet of special presentations done in stage reading format will be presented on Friday, May 5 at 7pm, and Saturday, May 6 at 2pm at The Siggy Space at The Flea Theatre, 20 Thomas Street, New York City of EL BACALAO: The Catfish Man, a new, full-length play written by Latina playwright Desi Moreno-Penson. The readings will be directed by SDC Director KM Jones and will feature the acting talents of Jose Febus,* Michael Tyler Jennings, Laura E. Johnston’*, Desi Moreno-Penson, Susanne Pinedo, Yessenia Rivas, Kathy Tejada, and Fidel Vicioso. (*Appearing courtesy of AEA.)

Produced by Dramatic Question Theatre through their flagship new play development program, “DQT Presents,” a series featuring live readings of the works of BIPOC and women-identifying playwrights . https://www.thedqt.org

Loosely based on Euripides’ THE BACCHAE, and taking place in the small, backwater town of Thebes, Florida, EL BACALAO: The Catfish Man tells the story of a cantankerous Cuban family on the verge of losing everything. A storm is coming; a restaurant is closed, a young girl is dead. And a Yoruban demigod is hell bent on vengeance.

Director KM Jones says, “I have always been struck by the intelligence, depth, theatricality, and vibrancy of Desi’s voice. Greek drama, with its big, tragic themes of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power and the fraught, sometimes campy relationships between men and their gods, are the perfect backdrop for this contemporary tale of a dysfunctional family.”

Readings are $20, but currently, there is an Early Bird Special of $15 per ticket from April 3 thru April 17th. Get your tickets at this link: Click Here.


Desi Moreno-Penson (Playwright) is a playwright, actor, dramaturg, and independent theater producer based in NYC. She has an MFA in Dramaturgy and Theater Criticism from Brooklyn College. Her plays have been developed/produced at Ensemble Studio Theater (EST), INTAR, MultiStages, Perishable Theater (Providence, RI), SPF-Summer Play Festival, terraNOVA Collective, Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF) @the Cherry Lane, Urban Theater Company (Chicago), Teatro Coribantes (San Juan, PR), among others. Her short play, DEAD WIVES DANCE THE MAMBO was featured as part of The Chain One-Act Festival at the Chain Theater, directed by KM Jones. Her new play, EL BACALAO: The Catfish Man, a Latinx retelling of THE BACCHAE by Euripedes, was part of the 2021 Fall Intensive Writers Group with Workshop Theater and selected for Lifeline Theater’s Second Annual BIPOC Adaptation Writers Lab in Chicago. Another play, SIN AGUA (Without Water) is part of the 2022-2023 Fighting Words New Script Development Program with Babes With Blades Theater Company in Chicago. Her play, BEIGE received a staged reading as part of the playwrights/directors unit (PDU) at The Actors Studio and is the winner of the 2016 National Latinx Playwriting Award sponsored by the Arizona Theater Company; a finalist for both the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (San Francisco). She has twice won the MultiStages New Works Contest sponsored by MultiStages Theater Company for her plays, OMINOUS MEN and COMIDA DE PUTA (F%&king Lousy Food); has twice been a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award, and her work has received Honorable Mention on The Kilroys List. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing; her short play, RECONCILE, BITCH is included in the short plays anthology “Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2020,” published by Applause Theater and Cinema Books; a ten-minute play, SPIRIT SEX: A PARANORMAL ROMANCE, was selected for the short plays anthology, “Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2010;” and a scene from her play, COMIDA DE PUTA (F%&king Lousy Food) is included in an anthology featuring plays written by Latinx playwrights, “Scenes for Latinx Actors: Voices of the New American Theater,” both published by Smith and Kraus. Desi lives in The Bronx with her wonderful partner, Anthony, and their cat, Choo-Choo.

KM Jones (Director) Co-Executive Vice President and Board Member, League of Professional Theatre Women, Member: AEA, SDC, Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU), Workshop Theatre Company, Dramatic Question Theatre, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (Former Associate Artistic Director), and The Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Unit (PDU). KM is an alumni of St. John’s University and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts/NY. (AADA). @KM Jones (FB); @KM.JONES.52493 (IG); kmjdirector.com

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