A young father in the playground, eleven-month-old baby in tow, engages another parent in the park in a conversation about neighborhoods, parenthood, and culture, processing some of his traumas and insecurities along the way as he tries to predict the factors that will shape his child’s Latinx identity. Meanwhile, his alter-ego, a swaggering hip hop jester named MC Plátano, comments on the action, fills in some of the blanks, and asks us some difficult questions.

Gabriel Diego Hernández is an actor, playwright, hip hop artist, and educator who originally hails from Hoboken, NJ. He has a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies and a master's in education, both from Yale University, he taught history and theater in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey before transitioning full-time into the performing arts world. Recent credits include ¡Guaracha! (The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater), El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom (Two River Theater), CasablancaBox (HERE Arts), and Cándido Tirado and Vico C’s reggaetón musical La Canción (Repertorio Español).

“Quarter Rican” was developed through Pregones Theater’s Step-Up Artist Residency and was workshopped at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Newark Symphony Hall before its world premiere at Mile Square Theatre in the spring of 2023. Quarter Rican was nominated for four HOLA Awards, and Hernández took home the award for Outstanding Performance in Musical Theater. He lives in Jersey City Heights with his wife and writing partner Rachel and their two children. Their next show “Solomon” is currently in development. Gabriel is thrilled and grateful to be in Chicago sharing his story. Shouts to native son Dennis García for being a real one and having his back. Shouts to Flaco Navaja for the mentorship and for greasing the wheels of the South Bronx to Humboldt Park pipeline. And shouts to Mikey O for the vision and brotherhood and taking a chance on this work. ¡Pa’lante!

 


 

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