About El Che





Arizona’s political and social landscape is changing.  Phoenix, our countries 6th largest city, is currently 40% Latino – and growing. Now is the time for the community to come together to support the creation of an ongoing, robust, vibrant and sustainable Latino oriented theatre project that will serve our communities for years to come.

This is the goal of El Che, a world premier play written by Marcelino Quiñonez.

Matthew Wiener, former Producing Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Phoenix, will direct the play. The cast includes Marcelino Quiñonez, James Garcia, Elisa Gonzales, Javier Stefano De Vita, Joe Kremer, Ethan Shanker and Dilcia Yañez. Benny Morel is producing the play. The play will present at the Phoenix Center for the Arts on August 26th through the 28th.


Che Guevara is one of the most iconic figures in Latino culture. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara fought alongside Fidel Castro from 1956 until 1965 and was a significant contributor of the Cuban Revolution. Che was murdered in Bolivia in 1967 after a failed attempt to stir a revolution in that South American country. His Guerrillero Heroico (Heroic Guerrilla Fighter) image has inspired millions after his death, including many Chicanos (Revolutionary Mexican Americans) in the Chicano Movement of the 1960’s in the United States. Today Che is a symbol of rebellion and revolt against imperialism and the establishment around the world.

As is common with many iconic historical figures, Che’s life has become a myth. While many revere and defend his actions, others despise and detest his very existence, sometimes equaling him to a mass murderer on the loose. El Che by Marcelino Quiñonez deconstructs the mythical figure and presents a real human being on stage with flaws and human attributes. The play explores his relationship with Fidel, his two wives and the youth he dedicated himself to educating into revolutionaries in their own right.

A common thread in Che’s life is departure. He was a man who was constantly finding his next adventure and often times leaving behind the ones he loved, including two wives and five children. The scene in El Che, which most clearly reveals the heartache, and pain he left on others occurs when Che tells his second wife Aleida he is leaving.  Che is direct in his feelings, “This isn’t working…Che in Cuba. There’s nothing else for me to do here. I’ve taken this revolution as far as I can, given my status as a foreigner. (Pause) In three weeks, I am leaving for the Congo.” What is clear in the scene is the love both Che and Aleida shared for each other. Che laments his decision and tries his best to leave his wife in good spirits, recording Neruda poems for her to enjoy when he is no longer present. Aleida, a strong character in her own right, responds to the minimal efforts with conviction, “In your absence I get Neruda.” She confronts Che with his own truths as only a lover can, “You’ll always be unfulfilled, because you have no limit.”

Ultimately, the play El Che is about a man who with his modest efforts tries to change the world into his definition of justice. It is also easy to see his passion might have blinded his steps. Audience members of “El Che” will learn about the man behind the myth, the father behind the leader and the teacher behind the most iconic image taken in the 20th Century. We invite you to take a trip to investigate the life of a myth all the while applying those questions to your own life.