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latinx theatre; latinx plays; latinx shakespeares; mexican shakespeare; chicano shakespeare; bilingual theatre

 

Romeo y Julieta

Translation by: Raul Moncada

Directed by: Peter Webster

University of San Diego, Teatro META, and The Old Globe

(San Diego and Chula Vista, CA and Tijuana, Mexico) - 2005

The Bi-National Project: Romeo y Julieta (2005)

 

 

The Old Globe in San Diego concluded the Bi-National Project, a joint venture in which they partnered with high school teachers and students on both sides of the U.S - Mexican border. The project spanned one year, fostering cultural exchange between the high schools, theaters, and the two countries.  What resulted was a performance run of only five shows, emphasizing the goals of student involvement and cultural exchange more than the theatrical product.  Like many Latinx Shakespearean productions that would follow, the rehearsal and cultural processes were in many ways more significant than the productions themselves. The production was trilingual, with Spanish, English, and Mixteco. It ran for ninety minutes and included a diverse soundtrack.

The project not only brought a large group of people together onstage, but did so offstage as well.  The Old Globe’s Education Department and Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT) sponsored the Romeo y Julieta project.  According to the Press Release, the project was “made possible in part by grants from Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price and the County of San Diego, U.S. Bank, and other generous sponsors,”[1] and a newspaper reported that the City of Chula Vista’s Office of Cultural Arts also gave a grant that aided in the project’s financing as well as the Globe management “by spending $250,000 on the project.”[2] The Globe’s Teatro Meta, a bilingual and bicultural wing of the Globe that “meant to foster the creation of new ‘Hispanic-oriented’ plays to be performed in English and in Spanish” became a primarily educational program after support from the Ford Foundation expired.[3] An elementary school halfway between San Diego and Tijuana provided the rehearsal space, translation services were employed, and the project crossed borders not only geographically and culturally, but also financially.

 

 

SEE ALSO:

Carla Della Gatta, Latinx Shakespeares: Staging US Intracultural Theater, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2023. 133.

 

 

CARLA DELLA GATTA

APRIL 2022

 

[1] “The Old Globe Presents Finale of Romeo y Julieta Bi-National Education Project With Free Performances in San Diego, Chula Vista, and Tijuana.”  Old Globe. Press Release.  San Diego: Old Globe, 6 Jul.2005. 

[2] Anne Marie Welsh, “This Romeo Will Cross Both the Borders of Love and of Life.” San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Jul  2005.  Accessed 26 Jan 2013.

[3] Welsh.

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