Paletas de Coco or, The Letter Unspoken or, The Christmas Eve Play

A playwright searching for his father and for someone to read aloud a letter he's written recruits a Performer who, along with the audience, are taken with the playwright on a journey through four Christmas Eves, coconut popsicles, depression, Santería chants, Times Square, male breastfeeding, reunions with long-lost siblings, Applebee's Nacho Plates, child birth, suicide attempts, fatherhood, and robbing Chinese buffets.
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Paletas de Coco or, The Letter Unspoken or, The Christmas Eve Play

Recommended by

  • Lindsay Partain:
    11 Mar. 2020
    Where to even begin...This is not your average living room drama, no. “Paletas de Coco” by Franky Gonzalez is a father’s beating heart. It is a journey marked by a son’s worry stones. It is heartbreaking and vulnerable—hilarious and devastating—it will tear you apart with its honesty and put you back together again with hope and sunshine. In life we have so many moments that are not an “if” but a “when”—when this play makes its debut it is going to take over the world.
  • Eric Pfeffinger:
    8 Mar. 2020
    It's a challenge to be heartbreaking, unflinchingly candid, and uproariously funny all in the same play, but I swear this one achieves all three sometimes within a single moment. Yes, it's personal and achingly honest, but it's also flawlessly structured storytelling that delivers a whole lifetime of characters and struggles and triumphs in a single impossibly evocative ninety minute show. Anyone who's been a parent -- or had a parent -- will feel both seen and understood.
  • Marj O'Neill-Butler:
    5 Mar. 2020
    I, too, heard Franky's play in the quirky bookstore, Heirloom Books, somewhere in Chicago. In an intimate setting with friends and strangers, we re-lived Franky's life with all its pain and suffering. The most truthful play I've ever heard. I can't stop thinking about it and Franky. Along with the harrowing stories, there was such humor and laughter. This play needs to be heard and seen.

Character Information

  • Franky Duval Gonzalez
    20s - 30s,
    Latino
    ,
    Male
    Dark glasses. Blazer. Overweight. Latino.
  • Performer
    Any Age,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    Any age, anything on the gender spectrum. Race neutral. Only rule: They can’t have seen, rehearsed, or read this script.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Dallas Theater Center Playwrights Workshop
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    HBMG Foundation National Winter Playwrights Retreat
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    The Lark
    ,
    2019

Awards

Runner Up
,
Theatre Prize
,
The Alpine Fellowship
,
2019