El Huracán

by Charise Castro Smith

Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez

Starring Barbara Bonilla, Gabriell Salgado, Adriana Sevan, James Puig, Emma Garcia Seeger and Thais Menendez
April 15 – May 14, 2023
Preview performance: Friday, April 14

El Huracán
is produced with generous
support from

Henry R. Muñoz III 

and Baptist Health
Student Matinees sponsored with leading support by
Green Family Foundation • The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami
Foundation • The Kirk Foundation • Lloyd and Helen Dilworth Foundation
Additional support provided by
Knight Foundation
With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 minutes.
No Intermission.
This production contains strong language.
World Premiere produced by Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT.
James Bundy, Artistic Director; Victoria Nolan, Managing Director
For every ticket sold to El Huracán, GableStage will make a contribution to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Miami.

Please note: Masks are strongly encouraged, but not required.

“With “El Huracán” playwright Charise Castro Smith is nothing if not ambitious.”

As Hurricane Andrew threatens Miami, a mother and daughter ready themselves for the storm, but Abuela takes shelter in a world of memory, music and magic. A powerful tale of family and forgiveness, El Huracán, written by Miami native and recent Academy Award winner Charise Castro Smith (Disney’s Encanto), reveals what can be rebuilt in the aftermath of life’s most devastating tempests and what can never be replaced. A Florida Premiere inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Starring Barbara Bonilla, Gabriell Salgado, Adriana Sevan, James Puig, Emma Garcia Seeger and Thais Menendez.


“The central theme may be forgiveness, but she is also exploring memory, regret, generational conflict and the past’s influence on the present. …Her (Charise Castro Smith) heart is firmly planted on her sleeve and the stories she is sharing are compelling.”—Tom Holehan, Connecticut Critics Circle

“The blending of real and imaginary, illusion and reality are at the forefront of Charise Castro Smith’s intimate and poetic play. “El Huracán” is a play not about tricks but about how memory itself is magic.” —Noah Golden, OnStageBlog

Pre-Show Talks

Resident Dramaturg Karina Batchelor or Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport will present dramaturgical presentations 25 minutes before each performance.


Barbara Bonilla


BARBARA BONILLA is a Cuban American actor and a native New Yorker, now living in South Florida. She is thrilled to be returning to GableStage after her 2022 debut in BOCA. This past summer, she performed at Barrington Stage in The Berkshires and, most recently, at Empire Stage in The Savannah Sipping Society. Off-Broadway: Traid Theatre, New World Stages and Two River Theatre.  And at the Gala Theatre in D.C., where she performed the role of Carmen in Real Women Have Curves. Recent Films: Reminiscence with Hugh Jackman and iMORDECAI with Judd Hirsch. TV: Unsolved Mysteries, Law & Order: SVU, 30 Rock, The Sopranos, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Thanks to family, friends and the entire team for their love and support. This performance is dedicated to Abuela Estela, a professional actress at El Teatro Payret in Havana, Cuba (1935-1955) and Abuela Elisa, whose goodness was magical. Follow @barbarabonillaactor

Photo: Bob Lasky

Gabriell Salgado


GABRIELL SALGADO (Fernando/Theo) is thrilled to be working with GableStage for the first time. After making his professional debut with Zoetic Stage as ‘The Creature’ in Frankenstein, he has since starred in Miami New Drama’s 20th Anniversary production of Anna in The Tropics written and directed by Nilo Cruz, The Foundry’s production of Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo, Palm Beach Dramaworks’ production of Amy Herzog’s 4,000 Miles, Michael McKeever’s The Code, Hannah Benitez’s Gringolandia, and Ira Levin’s Deathtrap. Gabriell would like to thank his friends and family for their endless love and support.



Photo: Morgan Parker

Adriana Sevan


ADRIANA SEVAN is an award-winning actor and playwright. Credits include: LAS MUJERES DEL MAR (Playwrights Arena), EL HURACÁN (Yale Repertory), DESTINY OF DESIRE (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), ANNA IN THE TROPICS (Coconut Grove Playhouse/SCR), THE CLEAN HOUSE, CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE (South Coast Repertory), THE CHILDREN (Boston Court), CONDUCT OF LIFE (Rosenthal Theatre), TWO SISTERS AND A PIANO (Public Theatre), HENRY V (Shakespeare & Co) MACBETH (HERE), ANOTHER PART OF THE HOUSE (CSC), THE ODYSSEY (ST. CLEMENTS), POPOL VUH (Lincoln Center). Film/TV: COCO, HARVEST, WHAT ANNA KNEW, THINNER, LAW & ORDER, SEX & THE CITY, DEADLINE, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Playwrighting highlights, TAKING FLIGHT, (CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre), (San Diego Rep/SDTC Award), (Goodman), (Sundance), (LATW) and MEA Awarded, NIGHT OVER ERZINGA, (Golden Thread), (Silk Road Rising), (Yerevan State Theatre). She’s published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, American Theatre Magazine, Routledge, Northwestern Press and has taught and directed at theatres/universities across the country. For Mom y mi Papá.

Photo: Joanna DeGeneres

James Puig


JAMES PUIG (Alonso) is delighted to make his GableStage debut directed by Damaso Rodriguez with this dream of a cast. Jim made his Broadway debut performing in repertory Romeo and Juliet (Friar Laurence), As You Like It (Touchstone) and Macbeth (The Porter) also understudying F. Murray Abraham in that title role. Jim’s last Broadway appearance was the Hal Prince tribute, The Prince of Broadway. OFF-BROADWAY: NYC Center, Circle Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Actors Studio in NYC, Lincoln Center and ten projects with the New York Shakespeare Festival. REGIONAL: Kennedy Center, Yale Rep, McCarter Theatre, Denver Center, Actor’s Playhouse and twelve productions at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. TELEVISION: Miami Vice, Tattingers, Cheers and All My Children. A product of South Florida theatre, Jim was recently featured in Miami New Drama’s world premieres of the plays Fake and The Cubans at the Colony Theatre and last season in Zoetic’s GringoLandia at the Arsht Center. Heartfelt gratitude to Bari, Damaso, Charise, Andre and the GableStage family. Jim dedicates his performance to his parents, Florentina and Jaime with thanks to Hilda, Manie, family and friends for their love and support and most of all to God for those many blessings and for the gift of a lifetime in theatre. “With God all things are possible.”

Photo: Anthony Joseph Photography

Emma Garcia Seeger

Alicia/Val/dr kempler

EMMA GARCIA SEEGER is a recent graduate from the University of Florida, with her BFA in Theatre Performance, Specialization in Acting. This will be her debut theatrical performance since her college graduation this past April. She is thrilled to be working with this cast and crew and cannot be more thankful for this experience. She recently assistant stage managed The 39 Steps with Zoetic Stage, as well as stage managed both The Actors and Red Speedo at The Foundry in Wilton Manors. She wrote and acted in her own one-woman show for her final performance of college, Shut Up, I’m Still Talking. Other shows include Antigone, Macbeth and Three Sisters. She would like to thank her family for always supporting her. Enjoy the show!

Instagrams include @emma_seegz and @thebeverlywashington.

Photo: Noa Michele Photography

Thais Menendez


THAIS MENENDEZ is a Cuban-American trilingual SAG-AFTRA/AEA actor, producer, and writer based in Los Angeles. A Miami native and graduate of Boston College with a BA in Theatre & English, Thais is thrilled to be back in her hometown making her GableStage debut with this special play. Thais is also the co-founder of Quien Te Manda Productions, a Latina-led company dedicated to uplifting Latine voices in film. She wrote and starred in QTM’s first film to be released in 2023.

SELECTED THEATRE: A Misanthrope (Avant Bard); Things That Are Round (Rep Stage, World Premiere); columbinus (1st Stage, Helen Hayes Best Ensemble nomination); Don Cristobal (Pointless Theatre); What Every Girl Should Know and Dry Land (Forum Theatre); Oyéme, The Beautiful (Imagination Stage); Tentación (LA Philharmonic) TV: The Bold & the Beautiful (CBS); While You Were Breeding (Freeform). Para mis abuelos y Luis

IG: @thaismarie

Photo: Stephanie Girard


Charise Castro Smith

Charise Castro Smith is a playwright and writer originally from Miami. She spent the last three years co-writing and co-directing the theatrical Disney animated film ENCANTO which features music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. She has staffed on many tv series including THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE on Netflix, SWEETBITTER on Starz, and THE EXORCIST for Fox. Her pilot THE DEATH OF EVA SOFIA VALDEX was shot at ABC. She is a prolific playwright whose plays include EL HURACÁN (premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre), ESTRELLA CRUZ: THE JUNKYARD QUEEN (Ars Nova/Halcyon Theatre), THE HUNCHBACK OF SEVILLE (Washington Ensemble Theatre/Trinity Repertory Company), WASHETERIA (Soho Rep), and BOOMCRACKLEFLY (Miracle Theatre). She is a recipient of a Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists and is an alumna of Ars Novas Play Group and The New Georges Jam. She holds an M.F.A from Yale School of Drama.


Dámaso Rodríguez

Dámaso Rodríguez (Director) Born in Miami, Dámaso is thrilled to make his local theatre debut at GableStage. He is a director of new and classic plays with over 100 credits at theatres across the country. Most recently, he concluded a nine-year tenure as Artistic Director of Artists Rep in Portland, Oregon, where he directed 22 productions. In prior years, he co-founded L.A.’s Furious Theatre and served as Associate Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse. His productions have won and been nominated for dozens of awards (LA Stage Alliance, LA Stage Scene, LA Weekly) and he is a recipient of awards from L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Back Stage, and the NAACP. He is a three-time panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, serves on the Drama League’s National Directors Council, and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Dámaso dedicates his work on El Huracán to his grandparents: Zulema and Dámaso R. Rodríguez, and Teresita and Román García. We carry your memories.

Photo: Lava Alapai

El Huracán is funded by The Children’s Trust. The Children's Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

GableStage is proud to announce its non-profit partnership for the production of El Huracán

THE VILLAGERS, INC. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic sites in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

To become a non-profit production partner email tpalmer@gablestage.org