Luis Santeiro’s “Dancing With Dictators,” is a one-man cabaret that explores his family’s journey from pre-Castro Cuba to a traumatic exile in Miami during the turbulent 1960s.
It was hard, but Luis turned his Cuban American experience into a dream career as a multiple Emmy Award-winning writer for “¿Qué Pasa, USA?” and “Sesame Street.” See how one young Cuban became a Latino All-American, a living embodiment of the American Dream. Keep dancing, and keep dreaming! 🇨🇺
A Cuban Cabaret
In this cabaret-style show directed by Ron Torres, Luis Santeiro explores his family’s journey from pre-Castro Cuba to traumatic exile in Miami during the turbulent 1960s. Forced to leave the island at age 12, he was determined to become all-American and put his Latino past behind.
But it wasn’t so simple. With a sense of humor, songs and stories he shares a lovely tribute to his family while exploring loss, the passage of time in his homeland, and the richness of being from two cultures.
Acclaimed Pianist Paul Greenwood and percussionist Rex Benincasa join Luis Santeiro on this journey.
Luis Santeiro is a Cuban-American television screenwriter and playwright born in Havana, Cuba. At the age of 12 he left the island with his family for Miami, Florida.
He first worked as a television writer for Carrascolendas, a bilingual children’s television show that debuted in 1970 on the Austin, Texas, KLRN public television station.
¿Qué Pasa, USA?
In 1976 he became head writer of the bilingual sitcom ¿Qué Pasa, USA? a half-hour bilingual sitcom set in Miami’s Cuban exile community that traced the lives of three generations of Cubans trying to make it in their new homeland. Running for five years, the show received six regional Emmys and nine special awards from the Association of Critics and Commentators on the Arts for its producers, directors, writers, and cast. Santeiro wrote a total of thirty-three scripts for the show, including the pilot episode.
In 1979 he joined the writing team of the children’s television program Sesame Street. Santeiro also contributed scripts and song lyrics to other children’s programs, such as 3-2-1 Contact, Big Bag, Oye, Willie, and Little Bill. For his writing for children’s television programs, Santeiro has been nominated for 20 Daytime Emmy Awards and has won 14 – 12 of these during his career with Sesame Street.
Santeiro is also recognized for his work as a playwright. Among his most notable plays are Our Lady of the Tortilla (1987), The Lady from Havana (1990), and The Rooster and the Egg (1994).
He’s an Artist Too!
For his musical Barrio Babies, Santeiro received the Edward Kleban and Richard Rodgers Award, and in 1995 was honored with the National Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences Award for his play A Royal Affair. Santeiro has also been recognized for his contributions to Latino arts and culture with honors such as the Hispanic Achievement Award (1991) and the Hispanic Heritage Award (1993).