Everything is set for the IV International Festival of Hispanic Theater that will open on Friday with Teatro del Olmo,a company from Spain,one of the 10 Hispanic countries that will perform in Arlington,Va.,during the festival.
Rico,Republica Dominicana and The Theater of the Moon company from the United States will present 12 plays including Everything You Don't Know About Shakespeare and Never Cared to Know About Shakespeare a play that with three actors interprets all 37 of Shakespeare's works in only 93 minutes.
“It is a lot of hard work to put a festival like this together,” said Nucky Walder,producer of the festival. “We have to see the companies work and decide which will we invite,work out a schedule that is convenient for them and for us and translate the scripts in order to have simultaneous translation for the English speakers.”
To officially start the festival activities,Mexican actor Ignacio Lopez Tarso was in Washington,D.C.,last Thursday for a press conference in which Lopez Tarso,Nucky Walder and Mario Marcel,artistic director of the festival,discussed its importance and objectives.
“This Festival is important,because it tells us how important reunions are and because it helps Hispanic countries to see what the others are doing,” said Lopez Tarso,who has been an actor for more than 50 years and has worked with mythical movie directors as Luis Buñuel,theater directors as John Houston and actors like Raul Julia,”It allows companies to copy,improve and change impressions. It is an example,and should be carried on in all Hispanic countries.”
Plays and companies are chosen for the festival in two ways,Marcel explained. The first is to go to the country and see what is going on in different theaters and festivals. The second is when a company,interested in the festival,sends (as required) a video and a copy of the screen play to the organizers. Then a committee searches for something that shows what Marcel calls “the theatrical truth” of the country,something that lets the audience grasp what goes on in Peru,for example.
Plays show this on different levels; “Uruguayan actor Pepe Vazquez explained how Tonight Oscar Wilde,is a play that has everything to do with Uruguay,” Marcel said. “The play is about Wilde,and how he finds himself giving a conference when he wanted to hide,after a bottle of absinthe he just decides to be himself to tell the audience that he only wants to be understood. ‘This is a lot like Uruguay,you see,we should transform ourselves completely,but we want to remain being what we are,with an open chest',Vazquez told me.”
And in order to show a realistic view of the countries,the Festival has everything from children's plays to pantomime and humor,theater for everyone we could say.
“Most of the plays we brought this year have received awards in their own countries,for best play,for best actor or for best screen play. Unfortunately,we couldn't work out the times with the Mexican companies that we were interested in,however,we are planing to start next year's festival with a Mexican play with the assistance of Lopez Tarso,” Marcel commented.
The IV International Festival of Hispanic theater is scheduled from Feb. 7 to March 17,at the Gunston Arts Center,Theater Two (2700 S. Lang St.) in Arlington Va.
The plays and the times
Spain will show Kids'stuff on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.,and Feb. 10 at 3 & 8p.m.
Judgment day,a play from Chile will be shown on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 3 & 8 p.m.
From Costa Rica,Dream Concoctions will be shown on Feb. 20 and Feb. 28 during regular school hours,and Lets Speak in Silence,on Feb. 21 at 8 p.m.
The last minotaur,from Venezuela,will be shown on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 3 and 8 p.m.
Imagine An Hour Without Television,you can see that Peruvian play on Feb. 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.
March,begins with a play not to be missed,Tonight Oscar Wilde from Uruguay,on March 2 at 8 p.m. and on March 3 at 3 and 8 p.m.
From the USA Hansel And Gretel on March 3 and 10 at noon.
Voices,from Puerto Rico will be shown on March 6 and 8 at 8 p.m.
Chicken Cordon Blue,from Republica Dominicana on March 9 at 8 p.m. and on
March 10 at 3 and 8 p.m.; also from Republica Dominicana,you can find out The True History of the Discovery of America on March 13 & 14 at 8 p.m.
And last but not least,Costa Rica will show Men In Marinade on March 16 at 8 p.m. and on the 17 at 3 and 8 p.m.
For additional information you can contact El Teatro de la Luna at (202) 882-6227 or you can visit their web site at www.teatrodelaluna.org and tickets have a general cost of $20 or $15 for senior citizens and students.