“Charla,” A Chat with Jose Marti
Actor Chaz Mena presents an emotional portrayal of Cuban freedom fighter Jose Marti, set in Tampa's Ybor City in 1891.


“Charla,” A Chat with Jose Marti

“Charla,” A Chat with Jose Marti


Program Overview

Step back to November 25, 1891 and meet Cuban poet, journalist, scholar, diplomat, and revolutionary Jose Marti.  Actor Chaz Mena presents an emotional portrayal of Cuban freedom fighter Jose Marti, set in Tampa's Ybor City in 1891.

On the eve of his first trip to Tampa and Ybor City in November of 1891, Jose Marti decides to accept an invitation to give a talk in English to a Florida audience.  Actor Chaz Mena portrays Jose Marti as he rehearses the speech he is to deliver the next day.  The political becomes personal as we learn something of the man.  His boyhood, his studies, his writing and his loves all intertwine as he reflects upon what course to take on this, his first trip to Florida.  Time is running out for the Cuban Independence Movement, demoralized after so many failures.  He must galvanize Cubans into rising up against the Spanish.  He must dissuade those that would have Cuba annexed by the United States.  Marti must inspire his people, who presently enjoy a peaceful and lucrative life in Florida, to risk it all upon another final push to free their land.  They must reach for the unthinkable: Cuba Libre.  “Charla”, which in Spanish means “a chat”, allows us to begin to appreciate what challenges Marti faced in jump-starting the Cuban Revolution against Spain—the first step towards achieving a just society in Cuba.

Chaz Mena recently appeared in the American premiere of “Murder of Isaac” by Israel’s leading playwright, Motti Lerner, at Centerstage in Baltimore.  Last season he was cast in the Tony-Award winning “Anna in the Tropics”, staged by Jo Bonney at Arena Stage in Washington D.C.  Chaz was an artist-in-residence in Summer Short’s National Short Play Festival at the University of Miami.  His next project will be at Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables, FL in the world-premiere of Susie Westphal’s new play “The Boy from Russia”.

“Charla” is presented in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council (FHC) and is one of many programs exploring Florida history and heritage that FHC brings to communities around the state.  For more information about FHC programs and publications visit www.flahum.org.


Program Date & Time

7:30 pm
(doors open at 7:00 pm)




Florida Humanities Council

Red Circle Sponsors
Norman & Mirella Smith