HISTORY

Since 1966, within the walls of INTAR’s various (mostly NYC-owned) spaces, INTAR’s artists have produced work whose impact circles around, ripples outward, and intersects with other influential artists. 
 
The profound contribution to American theater of INTAR’s Founding Artistic Director, Max Ferrá, was revisited by the NY Times in a profile that honored his passing in February 2017.  

“We have created the Latino playwright in this country,” Mr. Ferrá declared in 2004, “They exist, they have a voice.” INTAR continues to preserve his vision of providing a dedicated space to nurture Latine artists through every aspect of our organization, from productions to artist incubation and instruction programs such as New Works Lab and Unit52.

INTAR has been a home for many celebrated and acclaimed Latine artists. As the NY Times profile on Max Ferrá puts it, “The playwrights who have had their works produced at Intar include the Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Manuel Puig, José Rivera, Luis Santeiro, Migdalia Cruz, Caridad Svich, Carmelita Tropicana, Eduardo Machado and Nilo Cruz, whose play ‘Anna in the Tropics’ won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.”

Mr. Cruz notably began to explore his voice as a playwright at the invitation of the internationally celebrated playwright, director, and teacher, María Irene Fornés, when he left Miami in the early 1990s to join INTAR’s Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Laboratory—a “national program to stimulate and develop writing abilities of Hispanic playwrights” led by Ms. Fornés from 1981 to 1992.
 
Ms. Fornés’s impact and legacy are profound, and grow stronger in her absence thanks to the dedication of contemporary theatre artists and scholars, who, in turn, teach and inspire a new generation of students and theater artists around the world via the Fornés Institute. A vivid exploration of Ms. Fornés’s story can be found in the documentary portrait The Rest I Make Up, directed by Michelle Memran.
 
INTAR is not only interested in the development of single artists, but also in connecting artists to each other to produce dynamic collaborations. One such ensemble is LAByrinth Theater Company, originally known as Latino Actors Base, which was founded at INTAR by a group of actors in the early 1990s, and continues to produce exciting new work to this day.
 
In 1987, the NY Times reported on a thriving multi-arts center at INTAR under Max Ferrá and then managing director Dennis Ferguson-Acosta, in our previous space on West 42nd Street. The INTAR Gallery was a launching pad for Latin visual arts talent, ranking among the most influential for Latin artists in the USA under the leadership and vision of artist and curator Inverna Lockpez, who curated more than 250 exhibitions of visual and sculptural works between 1979 and 1994. 
For those curious about our history, an artifact from the days of the INTAR Gallery can be found here.
 
INTAR’s history can be described in many ways, but a linear storyline may be the least compelling. As INTAR welcomes new artists into our community, each artist becomes becomes an intrinsic part of our history, and each of our artists’s histories become our own.