Diverse Theatre Traditions

International Latino Theatre Festival lands in L.A. on November 1

By Pilar Marrero
Published on LatinoLA: October 22, 2002

Diverse Theatre Traditions

Friday November 1st marks the opening of the International Latino Theatre Festival 2002, FITLA, the first time that some of the best local theatre will come together with renowned groups from Latin America to perform in the great city of Los Angeles.

Escena Latina will present 14 live on-stage works, from the opening night premiere of ?Etno-Techno? by Mexican performer Guillermo Gomez Pe?a and La Pocha Nostra, to the first ever solo performance by Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, of his new show, ?Cantinflas?.

Some of the finest Latin American theatre groups will be appearing in Los Angeles for their first time, such as Yuyachkani from Peru, one of the most prestigious groups of the Americas, which will present ?No me Toquen ese Valse? (?Please, Don?t play that Waltz for me?), and Coincidencia from Mexico with their play ?No ser Hamlet? (Not being Hamlet).

From Cuba, but now settled in the U.S.A., is Teatro del Obstaculo, Havana?s most important vanguard group, presenting ?Aplaude con una Mano? (Clap with one hand) and from Puerto Rico, Taller de Otra Cosa will perform ?Fuera de Sitio? (Out of place).

Grupo Sinergia from Los Angeles will have two offerings for FITLA, the acclaimed ?Frida Kahlo? and ?El beso de la mujer ara?a? (Kiss of the spider woman). Grupo Sinergia will also host other groups in its Frida Kahlo Theatre. The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts delivers ?El Alcalde de Zalamea? (The Mayor of Zalamea) and East L.A. Classic Theatre presents Shakespeare?s ?A Midsummer Night?s Dream? (Sue?o de una Noche de Verano), set during the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, in a special performance for students. Maria Costa from Los Angeles will delight the audience with her hilarious ?Macho Men and the Women that Love Them,? and Elia Arce from Costa Rica/USA lands as the ?First Woman on the Moon? (Primera Mujer en la Luna).

FITLA?s premiere edition closes with ?Culture Clash in AmeriCCa,? plus a ceremony in which the First Annual Dionisio Award will be presented to the EITALC (the International School of Latin American and Caribbean Theatre).

Also as part of FITLA, the EITALC will be holding it?s 31st workshop with participation from about 65 top playwrights, directors, actors and teachers of theatre, all coming together to compare their work and learn from each other.

The EITALC, a non-governmental Latin American educational institution founded in 1987, has held many workshops in Europe, Latin America and the USA. In 1995 it was recognized as ?Cathedral of Latin American Theatre? by UNESCO, the United Nation?s organization for the advancement of educational programs throughout the world.

FITLA was established in 2001 in Los Angeles to advance the appreciation of the diverse theatre traditions of ?culturas latinas? through the presentation of live works on stage and the creation of public and professional educational programs in the dramatic arts.

Some performances will be in English, some in Spanish, some bilingual and some not reliant on language at all. Tickets will only be available at the theatre box offices and most are $10 and $15. Individual tickets will be sold on a ?first come, first serve? basis but subscription packages will also be offered.

Most performances will be presented at the Japan America theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles CA 90012, (213) 680-3700 and at the Frida Kahlo Theatre 2332 W. 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90057, (213) 382-8133.

For schedule information call (323) 960-5132 or visit http://www.fitla.org.

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