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OPB’s Oregon Art Beat Goes Behind the Scenes of the Artists Repertory Theatre Musical 'Cuba Libre'

 *Photo by Owen Carey


Half-Hour Special Premieres October 15 at 8:00 p.m. on OPB TV

OPB’s long-running arts program Oregon Art Beat will present a new half-hour special chronicling the development of Artists Repertory Theatre’s new musical Cuba Libre.

Premiering on Thursday, October 15 at 8 p.m. on OPB TV and online, this short documentary follows the evolution of the musical—from a dance workshop with temporary actors and dancers, through national auditions, an intensive seven-week rehearsal period, to its Portland debut. Culminating a year of filming and reporting by Oregon Art Beat, the special goes behind the scenes to uncover why it takes up to five years to develop a major musical.   The program includes interviews with:

  • Artists Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez
  • Broadway Producer Susan Dietz
  • Choreographer Maija Garcia
  • Tiempo Libre and Cuba Libre Music Director Jorge Gómez
  • Playwright Carlos Lacámara

Currently running through November 15 at the Winningstad Theatre in Portland, Artists Repertory Theatre’s Cuba Libre tells the universal story of a man caught between countries, losses and loves, and his search for freedom. Set in America and Cuba, the tale reverberates across politics, ambition and romance with dialogue, dance and Latin-fusion beats. The Broadway-scale, contemporary musical features three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Carribean band Tiempo Libre and a company of 21 actors, dancers and musicians.  

The musical is a collaboration among playwright Carlos Lacámara, Artists Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez, choreographer Maija Garcia and Tiempo Libre.  

“Cuba Libre: An Oregon Art Beat Special” is produced by Robe Imbriano and is edited by Tom Shrider. It airs Thursday, October 15 at 8 p.m. on OPB TV and online at For more information about the Oregon Art Beat’s “Cuba Libre,“ visit  


About Oregon Art Beat

Since 2000, OPB’s award-winning Oregon Art Beat has served as a powerhouse of arts reporting—profiling artists, musicians, and artisans from around the state and beyond. Now in its 17th season, show producers and crew have traveled extensively to capture the eclectic mix of creative talent in the Northwest. The program airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 a.m. and 6 p.m. In the Mountain Time Zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays and repeats at 7 p.m. on Sundays. Oregon Art Beat is supported by The Kinsman Foundation, Kay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson- Laird, the Oregon Arts Commission, and Ronni Lacroute. More information is available online at

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