‘Quarter Rican’ explores growing up in Hoboken and the city’s changing nature

Playwright and actor Gabriel Diego Hernandez got the idea for the play when he became a father.

Mar 3, 2023, 1:35 AM

Updated 508 days ago

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A play that is set in Hoboken, written by and starring a Hoboken native, is being performed in the city for the first time. "Quarter Rican" is a comedy that explores the issue of identity - not only of a community but within a family.
Playwright and actor Gabriel Diego Hernandez got the idea for the play when he became a father. "Quarter Rican" began as a tongue-in-cheek reference to his child being one-fourth Puerto Rican.
"We wondered, it was an open question about my kid's culture. What's he going to be? How's he going to feel? How's he going to be seen?” says Hernandez.
Hernandez portrays "Danny," a young father pondering his child's future while talking to another parent on a park bench. He is repeatedly interrupted, even tormented, by his inner thoughts expressed through his alter ego, MC Platano, played by Broderick Clavery. Arabelle Luke aka AirLoom Beats, completes the three-member cast enlivening the stage as DJ Quenepa.
Hernandez, who grew up on Sixth Street, also explores the changing nature of the community as it gentrified. The show includes a pointed reference, through a rap performance, of a dark chapter in Hoboken's history. Fires deliberately set in the late 1970s and early 1980s displaced thousands of Latino residents. It was during a period when developers sought to convert properties into high-priced housing.
"Quarter Rican" is scheduled to be performed at Mile Square Theatre, a nonprofit professional theater, located on Clinton Street, through March 26.
Ticket information can be found HERE.


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