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Comedies

Shakespeare's comedies have been adapted many times over for Latinx cultures. Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors both involve immigrants to a new land, and the musicality of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing allow for a transposition to auralidad, or the aural excess that is a hallmark of Latinx Shakespeares. The shifting of The Taming of the Shrew into a contemporary context allows for its gender-based problematic aspects to be reformulated and revised, and Measure for Measure's heavy righteousness has been rescripted to a more contemporary religious piety.

Scroll down or press these links for productions of As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

As You Like It

All ephemera courtesy of The Old Globe

2010 The Old Globe

San Diego, CA

As You Like It

(dir. Patrick Pearson)

After staging a trilingual Romeo and Juliet in 2008, a bilingual Pericles in 2009, The Old Globe staged Twelfth Night and As You Like It for their 2010 Summer Shakespeare intensive. Translator Raul Moncada had passed away, so the 2010 shows contained less Spanish, and the bilingual summer student program ended after this season.

2010 Drew University

Madison, NJ

As You Like It

(dir. Caitlin McWethy)

Director Caitlin McWethy, a student at Drew University in New Jersey, created a semi-bilingual version of As You Like It, turning the Forest of Arden into a barrio in Mexico City.

latinx theatre, devised theatre, latinx Shakespeares, community shakespeare, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares

The Comedy of Errors

All ephemera courtesy of The Old Globe

1987 The Old Globe

San Diego, CA

The Comedy of Errors

(dir. David McClendon)

The setting was 19th century California with high comedy stereotypes from cowboy westerns. John Bolger and Mark Moses played the Antifoli from Monterrey and San Diego, respectively, and when Bolger got a role on TV, Moses played both Antifoli for the rest of the run. Marissa Chibas played Luciana and Melody Rayne was Adriana.

1998 Educational Theatre Company

Arlington, VA

Comedy(A) of Error(es)
by Tom Mallan

(dir. Tom Mallan)

Tom Mallan created two bilingual shows that year, Bottom's Dream and The Comedy(A) of Error(E)s. In both shows, some characters spoke English and others Spanish in order to indicate a greater chasm between characters and locations.  In Comedy(A) of Error(E)s, one bilingual actor played both Antipholi, while another bilingual actor played both Dromios.

Latinx Comedy of Errors
Courtesy of Tom Mallan
Cuban Shakespeare

2008 Windsor Shakespeare

Windsor, CA

The Comedy of Errors

(dir. Jim Du Priest)

The action was set in modern-day Cuba, with the twins from Aruba and Cuba.

2009 University of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN

The Comedy of Errors
(dir. Brad Wright)

Alex Oberhide and Mason Absher played both sets of twins, Antipholus and Dromio, respectively. The action was set in 1960s Cuba.

All images courtesy of the University of Indianapolis Frederick D. Hill University Archives and Special Collections
All ephemera courtesy of Joe Falocco
from the 2017 production

2015 Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

The Comedy of Errors / La Comedia de Equivocaciones
by Joe Falocco
Translation by: Luis Astrana Marín, modernized by David Navarro

(dir. Joe Falocco)

This play has been staged three times, directed by Joe Falocco in 2015 and 2017, and by Jerry Ruiz in 2019.

2015 The Public Mobile Unit

New York, NY

The Comedy of Errors

(dir. Kwame Kwei-Armah)

Both Antipholi were played by Bernard Cubría and the Dromios by Lucas Caleb Rooney. The names of the locations were not changed, but Syracuse and Ephesus became white-cowboy Texas and Mexico with some Spanish spoken throughout, and the Duchess of Ephesus (Shakespeare’s Duke) wore a baseball cap with the slogan “Make Ephesus Great Again.”

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Photography by Jenny Graham
Courtesy of Oregon Shakespeare Festival

2019 Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, OR

La Comedia of Errors
by Lydia G. Garcia and Bill Rauch

(dir. Bill Rauch)

La Comedia of Errors is a bilingual play that is featured in Chapter Five of Latinx Shakespeares (esp. p. 136-142). Micha Espinosa writes about her work as vocal coach in her chapter in Shakespeare and Latinidad and she and Cynthia DeCure discuss vocality for Shakespeare in the Folger Shakespeare Library podcast below.

2023 The Public Mobile Unit

New York, NY

The Comedy of Errors
by Rebecca Martínez and Julián Mesri

(dir. Rebecca Martínez)

This bilingual musical adaptation has songs in English and in Spanish. It was performed in all five boroughs of New York.

The Public Theater Mobile Unit
latinx theatrical adaptation, latinx plays, shakespearean productions and adaptations, latinx Shakespeares, productions and adaptations of Shakespeare's,
Image courtesy of Adrienne Dawes

2023 Theatre Bedlam

New York, NY

Dupe
by Adrienne Dawes

(dir. Melissa Crespo)

The story centers on a Black writer whose image has been stolen and used for another's work; she reaches out to her estranged identical twin sister for help. The play has a cast of four female or femme characters and is described by Dawes as "Comedy of Errors with a dash of Dolezal." It had its first reading at Bedlam's DO MORE: New Plays reading series.

Measure for Measure

Photography by Jenny Graham
Courtesy of Oregon Shakespeare Festival

2011 Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, OR

Measure for Measure

(dir. Bill Rauch)

This production was set in a 1970s bordertown with Angelo, Isabella, Claudio, and Juliet as Latinx. It included performances by the all-female mariachi band, Las Colibrí. This production is featured in Latinx Shakespeares (esp. p. 65-70). Frankie J. Alvarez writes about his role in the show in Shakespeare and Latinidad. An audio version of the production is available.

2013 The Goodman Theater

Chicago, IL

Measure for Measure

(dir. Robert Falls)

Bob Falls set the action in 1970s New York City with Isabella and Claudio as Dominican. Vocal coach Michelle Lopez-Rios writes about her work on the show in her essay for Shakespeare and Latinidad.

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Latinx Measure for Measure

2015 UC Riverside

Riverside, CA

Measure for Measure

(dir. Miles Anderson)

The production was set in 1910s Mexico with some Spanish and Spanish vocal music performed during the show.

Image courtesy of UC Riverside Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production

2016 San Diego Public Library

San Diego, CA

Measure for Measure / Medida por Medida: A Bilingual Play
by Bernardo Mazón

(dir. Bernardo Mazón)

The readings of this bilingual play were part of the 2016 First Folio tour, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Mazón mixed contemporary Spanish with Shakespeare's English.

bilingual Measure for Measure
Courtesy of: Bernardo Mazón Daher
Photography by: Liz Lauren
Courtesy of: American Players Theatre

2018 American Players Theatre

Spring Green, WI

Measure for Measure

(dir. Risa Brainin)

The production had an unspecified setting, not Shakespeare's, and not exactly today. Director Risa Brainin wanted to invoke contemporary issues of familial separations and #metoo, and Isabella, Claudio, and Juliet were all portrayed as Latinx by Latinx actors.

2022 Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Chicago, IL

Measure for Measure

(dir. Henry Godinez)
All ephemera courtesy of
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Godinez's production was set in 1950s Cuba and included a poignant commentary on revolution.

The Merchant of Venice

1993 La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque

Albuquerque, NM

The Merchant of Santa Fe
by Ramón Flores and Lynn Butler

(dir. Ramón Flores)

This production incorporated some Spanish and reenvisioned Shylock as a converso.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, mexican shakespeare, chicano shakespeare, bilingual theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Latinx A Midsummer Night's Dream

1998 Educational Theatre Company

Arlington, VA

Bottom's Dream: The Midsummer Mambo
by Tom Mallan

(dir. Tom Mallan)

Tom Mallan created two bilingual shows that year, Bottom's Dream and The Comedy(A) of Error(E)s. In both shows, some characters spoke English and others Spanish in order to indicate a greater chasm between characters and locations.  In Comedy(A) of Error(E)s, one bilingual actor played both Antipholi, while another bilingual actor played both Dromios.

Courtesy of Tom Mallan

2001 Shakespeare in the Parque

Alexandria, VA

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(dir. Susan Schulman)

A new theatre company opened in 2001 under the direction of Susan Schulman. The production included both Spanish and English and was performed in July with a large cast of twenty-one.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, borderlands theatre, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares
Chicano Shakespeare

2002 East LA Classic Theatre Company

Los Angeles, CA

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(dir. Tony Plana)

One of the four Latinx Shakespeares from Tony Plana's East LA Classic Theater Company. Read the article and interview.

2007 Cornerstone Theater Company

Holtville, CA

A Holtville Night's Dream
By: Alison Carey in collaboration with the people of Holtville, California

(dir. Laurie Woolery)

One of Cornerstone's community inspired Shakespeare adaptations, the company collaborated with Holtville residents.

All ephemera courtesy of Cornerstone Theater Company
Mexican Shakespeare

2009 Arclight Repertory Theatre

San Jose, CA

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(dir. David Koppel)

The setting of the production was contemporary Piste, Mexico, nearby to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, although dramaturgical elements from various time periods intersect in the performance.

2009 Cuban Office of Scenic Arts and The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL and Havana, Cuba

Un Sueño de Una Noche de Verano
by Seth Panitch

(dir. Seth Panitch)

Part of the UA Cuba-Alabama Initiative, this production included Cuban and American actors.

Photography by: Mr. Porfirio Soloranzo
Courtesy of: Seth Pantitch
All ephemera courtesy of The Vortex Theatre

2014 Vortex Theatre & City of Albuquerque for "Shakespeare in the Plaza"

Albuquerque, NM

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(dir. David Richard Jones)

Director David Richard Jones set the action in 1850s New Mexico.

2015 Teatro SEA

New York, NY

Sueño: A Latino Take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Norge Espinosa

(dir. Manuel Morán)

This adaptation celebrates Afro-Caribbean culture with dance, movement, puppetry, and a live orchestra. Sueño was performed on alternating nights in contemporary English or Spanish. It is featured in Chapter Five of Latinx Shakespeares (p.142-147).

Photography by: George Riverón
Courtesy of: Teatro SEA

2018 Texas Light Opera (TLO) and Killer Productions

San Antonio, TX

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(dir. Ashley Rose Trevino)

The play was performed in April for Fiesta in San Antonio with Day of the Dead themes and music in Spanish.

Photography by: JPL Productions / Julián P. Ledezma
Courtesy of: Ashley Rose Trevino & Dave Cortez

2019 Something from Abroad Theatre Company

New York, NY

Sueño de Una Noche de Verano

(dir. Lorena Marín)

This Spanish-language production was part of the FRIGID NY festival that included six different versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, including burlesque, improvisational, queer, and other adaptations of the play. Sueño de Una Noche de Verano was set in the 1950s in a Pueblo Mágico and performed in Spanish by eleven Latinx actors.

Photography by: Mateo Salcedo Cancino
Courtesy of: Something from Abroad Theatre
latinx theatrical adaptation, latinx plays, shakespearean productions and adaptations, latinx Shakespeares, productions and adaptations of Shakespeare's,

2022 NYU Libraries

virtual

Midsummer Sueño
Arranged by: Emily Stone

(dir. Antonio Disla)

Emily Stone integrated different Spanishes for different characters into this bilingual play.

Image courtesy of: Emily Stone

2023 Sociedad Actoral (SAH) Acting School / Theatre & Film Co.

Doral, FL

Solsticio
by Ernesto García, adapted by Miguel Sahid

(dir. Miguel Sahid)

This reimagining was written and performed entirely in Spanish and included Cuban music.

Shakespeare in Spanish

Much Ado About Nothing

1987 The Acting Company

Washington, DC

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Gerald Gutierrez)

The action was set in 1930s Cuba. The production was successful and toured across the country in 1987-88.

1998 Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Bloomington, IL

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Robert E. Leonard)

The action is set in Messina, New Mexico, in 1917, with Don John, Benedick, and the men as U.S. Army troops returning from their pursuit of Pancho Villa.

borderlands Shakespeare
mariachi Shakespeare

1999 East LA Classic Theatre Company

Los Angeles, CA

Much Ado About Nothing: Mariachi Style
by: Tony Plana and Bert Rosario

(dir. Tony Plana)

One of the four Latinx Shakespeares from Tony Plana's East LA Classic Theater Company. Read the article and interview.

2002 University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Gavin Mundy)

The setting was the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917) in South Texas. Elena Araoz, then an MFA student, played Hero.

latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, mexican shakespeare, chicano shakespeare, bilingual theatre
Program courtesy of the Department of Theatre and Dance
at The University of Texas at Austin
latinx theatre, latinx plays, latinx Shakespeares, california shakespeare, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares

2006 Brown University

Providence, RI

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. John Emigh)

The production was set in Yerba Buena, CA, in 1846.

2009 Folger Theatre

Washington, DC

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Timothy Douglas)

The setting was the annual H Street Caribbean Carnival in Washington, DC, with Don John, Benedick, and the men as friendly police officers. An onstage DJ played music from the balcony and functioned as the multiple messengers in Shakespeare’s play.

Craig Wallace (Brother), Roxi Victorian (Hero), and Doug Brown (Leonato) in Much Ado About Nothing at Folger Theatre
Craig Wallace (Brother), Roxi Victorian (Hero), and Doug Brown (Leonato)
Photo by: James Kegley
Courtesy of: Folger Shakespeare Library
Latino Much Ado About Nothing

2011 Shakespeare Theatre Company

Washington, DC

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Ethan McSweeny)

This production set in 1930s Cuba raised controversy and ultimately became a turning point for the STC and for Latinx theatre.

Photography by Scott Suchman
Ephemera courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company

2012 University of North Florida

Atlantic Beach, FL

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. Pam Monteleone)

The production was set on a hacienda in the 1800s in Messina, "a town near the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia" near today's Oceanside, California. Spanish was intermixed and audiences could sing along to music ranging fro "Cielito Lindo" to "Sigh No More." 

Latinx Much Ado About Nothing
Courtesy of University of New Florida
Dept. of English, Theater/Drama Program 

2017 Aux Dog Theatre

Albuquerque, NM

Much Ado About Nothing

(dir. VJ Liberatori)

Director VJ Liberatori adapted and directed this production set in contemporary Placitas, New Mexico, for Aux Dog's first show in their "Shakespeare 505" series (505 is the area code for Albuquerque). Dogberry and the constables were played as Latinx by Latinx actors, and some Spanish was intermixed. 

Photography by: Russell Maynor
Courtesy of: Aux Dog Theatre

2018 Shakespeare in Detroit

Detroit, MI

Much Ado Para Nada
by Bernardo Mazón

(dir. Jennifer Tuttle)

Mazón integrated references to the local area of Detroit and translated about 20% of the script into Spanish.

latinx theatrical adaptation, latinx plays, bilingual classical theatre, Latinx adaptation, Latinx classics

2019 Symmetry Theatre Company

Berkeley, CA and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico