Teatro Bilingüe in San Miguel
By Alicia Madrid
Teatro Bilingüe will premier a series of short bilingual plays, Bilingüe y Breve, at Shelter Theatre, San Rafael in early March. This evening of for plays will transport audiences through a journey of contrasting landscapes and themes, much like a journey through Mexico itself.
This theatrical adventure will be piloted by a group of very talented and dedicated local directors who are currently in rehearsals getting their bilingual casts of Mexican and American actors ready to present plays written by contemporary Mexican playwrights. The series will consist of two comedies and two dramas, all of which will be presented in Spanish on two nights and in English during the remaining two evenings from March 6–9 at the Shelter.
Jose Luis Mendoza Aubert, who enjoys the irreverent, is directing a comedy by Román Calvo entitled Mi fino y gentil amigo (My Fine and Gentle Friend) starring Jesus Ibarra as the stuffy and supercilious judge Artemio. ln the last five years Mendoza Aubert has directed The Magic of Comedy, Transilvania Mon Amour, and Sopa de locos among many others. He credits his development as a director to his study of the human condition and the training he received from the great Mexican actor and director Carlos Ancira. He hopes audiences will come away with a good laugh and a better idea of theatre and comedy.
Sandra Rios, whose most memorable play involvement was the 2002 production of Strindberg’s La mas fuerte (The strongest), will direct the comedy Fuera de Servicio (Out of service) by Román Sanchez starring Clara Dunham and Pamela Cordero as Margarita and John Wharton as her husband Alfredo. Like Mendoza Aubert, Rios prefers to direct comedy and had the good fortune of directing Dracula Gay by Tomás Urtusástegui one of the Mexican playwrights featured in this bilingual series and a good friend of Rios.
John Wharton, in addition to co-starring in Out of Service, will direct the Urtusástegui play, Carretera al norte (Highway to the north), starring Crystal Calderoni as Natalia in this tightly written short play about a destitute mother struggling to make ends meet as a roadside vendor. Wharton is the owner of Shelter Theatre and an accomplished actor and director of many plays mounted at Theatre Santa Ana and Playreaders. He has been a longtime supporter of bilingual theatre and welcomes Bilingüe y Breve to The Shelter.
Carlos Diaz, is directing Atraves ando el tacon by Jaime Sierra about a transvestite, Luis, played by Eduardo Mora, who comes to terms with his sexual identity with the help of friend Angel (Adrian Aboytes), an experienced drag queen performer. Diaz directed and wrote En busca de la perla negra for the Alonso Echanove Actors Workshop at the University of Guanajuato in 2002. Diaz also wrote and starred in his play, Crossing the line which was presented both in Spanish and English during 2012 at Teatro Santa Ana. Diaz says that above all else a good script should have the quality of trueness and authenticity as revealed through character and story. In addition to Federico Garcia Lorca, Diaz lists Bertolt Brecht as a favorite playwright. “Brecht believed in the power of the theatre not only to entertain but to make the audience think. To question our reality and to transform it.”
Heading this talented ensemble of directors is Assistant Producer Kate Lowenstein who co-produced with John Morrow the Encuentro de Teatro San Miguel in 2012 and the first Fringe Festival San Miguel de Allende last October. The festival was the first bilingual Fringe Festival in Latin America and had more than 1300 attendees at 28 shows in 12 venues. Lowenstein, who has participated in local theatre as a director, actor, and producer, lists her participation in I Hate Hamlet, a Players Workshop production in July 2010 as her most memorable theatrical experience. She hopes that audiences will come away from Bilingüe y Breve with an enthusiasm for short bilingual plays and that they are moved to laugh, ponder, and empathize.
For more information on Bilingüe y Breve contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Alicia Madrid at email@example.com.