Repertorio Español and the General Consulate of Spain bestow upon Artistic Director René Buch The Order of Isabella the Catholic. This honor is a Spanish civil order granted to non-Spanish citizens in recognition of services that benefit foster Spanish culture and cultural exchange. Buch will be presented the award at Repertorio Español's June 5th Gala at Repertorio's Gramercy Arts Theater located at 138 East 27th Street in Manhattan, NY.
"I am very honored and reminded of my parents, and the Spanish generosity, since this is an Order given to foreigners that have worked for Spain," Buch said. "As my parents were subjects of the Spanish crown, I believe they would be very happy with my accomplishment. This recognition is a huge acknowledgement for Repertorio Español and I want to share it with the late Gilberto Zaldívar, my collegue and Repertorio's co-founder, as we work together to raise awareness of Spanish Theater and showcase it around the world."
René Buch, born in Cuba, was founder and director of Pro Arte de Oriente's Theatre Department, as well as founder of Havana's Acción Teatral de Autores (ATA). Through ATA, he made possible the staging of plays by aspiring Cuban playwrights. He holds a degree in Law from Havana University.
In 1949, Mr. Buch came to the United States and enrolled at the Yale Drama School. While completing his MFA degree, he taught both Spanish and Spanish literature at Yale. After moving to New York, he worked for the Radio and Television Department of the United Nations, where he became Editor of the United Nations Journal Spanish edition. Later, he served as Associate Editor at Visión magazine, writing on music, theatre, film, art and literature. In 1963, he moved to The Latin American Times, as editor for the arts, and worked with Reader's Digest as a book editor in Mexico City.
Mr. Buch directed La Dama Duende at the Greenwich Mews Theatre in 1968, produced by Las Artes – Frances Drucker and Gilberto Zaldivar. The success of the production gave birth to a new company – Repertorio Español.
As Artistic Director of Repertorio Español, Mr. Buch has directed many plays – among them: La Celestina, Las Pericas, Romeo and Juliet, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Glass Menagerie, Life is a Dream, Secret Injury/Secret Revenge, Fuente Ovejuna, El Burlador De Sevilla, Acto Cultural, El Dia Que Me Quieras, the New York premiere of Lorca's El Púbico (to commemorate the centennial of Lorca's birth), the complete trilogy of Lorca's rural tragedies (5 productions of Blood Wedding, 3 productions of Yerma, 4 productions of The House of Bernarda Alba) plus 3 different productions of Doña Rosita the Spinster, and Calderon's Albsalon's Tresses. Most recently he directed the New York Spanish-language premiere of Federico García Lorca's Once Five Years Pass for which The New York Times acclaimed, "Lorca is in good hands here!"
Of the new Hispanic American Playwrights he has directed works by Eduardo Machado, Carmen Rivera, and Cándido Tirado. He has also directed many plays by Latin American authors such as Emilio Carballido, José Ignacio Cabrujas, Carlos Olmos, Julio Mauricio, Jacobo Langsner, Eduardo Rovner, Isaac Chocrón, Luis Rafael Sánchez, and René Marqués among others.
His work with a specially chosen company of actors has developed an outstanding ensemble, which has won critical acclaim throughout the United States, and on its tours to Latin America and Spain. Under Mr. Buch's direction, Repertorio Español has presented Operas, Zarzuelas (Spanish operettas) and anthologies of classical and popular Hispanic music to enthusiastic audiences.
In 2011, Mr. Buch and Repertorio Español received an OBIE Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Buch also received Theater Communication Group's Theater Practitioner Award in 2008, an ENCORE Award for Arts Management Excellence from the Arts & Business Council in 2007 and numerous ACE (Association of Hispanic Theatre Critics) & HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) Awards.