To kick off the opening-night of Anna in the Tropics at York College, playwright Nilo Cruz will make a special appearance and presentation about his play and his career as a Cuban-American artist/playwright. This event, sponsored by the Office of the President, the Diversity and Pluralism Committee, and the York College Theatre will begin at 4pm on Friday, October 17, 2008, followed by the performance of Anna in the Tropics at 5:30pm. Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this lyrical and romantic story is an ode to great literature and a time gone by. Set in 1929, this play tells the story of a family of cigar workers whose lives are changed by the arrival of a new lector who reads Anna Karenina to the workers. The spirit of Tolstoy's novel affects each character, and with each chapter, new desires and jealousies erupt in the factory. Even the novel's deadly love triangle starts to play itself out. The play raises the dichotomy of a time when the sound of a human voice reading poetry is about to be replaced by the percussive sound of a factory full of machines. Under the direction of Timothy J. Amrhein, this production will feature the evocative set designs of David T. Jones, built by York College students under the direction of CLT Robert Barnes. It also features the period costumes of guest designer, Jennifer Raskopf and the vivid lighting of guest designer, Paul Hudson. CLT, Jessica Pecharsky, member of Actor's Equity Association, rounds off the list as production/stage manager. The cast of Anna in the Tropics features York College students: Joseph Grasso (Douglaston) as Santiago, Bency Pierre (Bellmore) as Cheché, Linda Mendivel (Jamaica) as Ofelia, Staci Ishmael (Valley Stream) as Marela, Francis Madi (Hempstead) as Conchita, Devon Phillips (Brooklyn) as Palomo, Erick Avila (Bronx) as Eliades, and Bijan Daryan (Bayside) as Juan Julian Rio.