Bilingual short play festival at Shelter VG4

By Alicia Madrid

“Throughout the years, our very active theatre-goer in San Miguel has been exposed to many outstanding plays written in English and originating from the US, Canada, and England. We would like to now acquaint these audiences to works written originally in Spanish and set in Mexico and other parts of Latin America,” said Jesus Ibarra, a well-known actor of Spanish language plays in San Miguel de Allende.

Ibarra has teamed up with California playwright Alicia Madrid to organize a bilingual theatre of short plays in San Miguel. Workshops will be offered as part of the rehearsal process to help actors hone their bilingual skills.

The first workshop production will feature the works of Mexican playwrights and other Latino dramatists. These plays have been translated into English by Ibarra and Madrid, and will be presented first in Spanish and on consecutive nights in English.

“Additionally, a bilingual theatre like we have envisioned will provide an ongoing theatre experience in Spanish for sanmiguelenses and for the continuous flow of visiting Spanish-speaking visitors,” said Ibarra.

“We want to expose the local theatre-goer and visitor to the talents of our bilingual actors and directors, many of whom have worked in successful bilingual productions in Mexico and elsewhere,” said Madrid.  Included in this talented pool are professional actors who have worked solely in English productions in San Miguel and are now ready to debut their talents in Spanish.

In the first series of plays selected for production, audiences will be treated to six short plays between 15 and 25 minutes, all presented in Spanish and on alternate nights in English. Some of the plays will have choreographed dances and live music. Among the plays slated for the first series are four dramas and two comedies written by accomplished dramatists Román Calvo, Tomás Urtusástegui, Alberto Cañas, and other local playwrights.

Madrid and John Wharton, owner of Shelter VG4, will coproduce the first workshop production at Shelter Theatre during the next few months. If you would like to participate in this inaugural bilingual festival as a cast or crew member, or to just be informed of the theatre’s progress, please contact and specify your interest.

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