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



Latinx Shakespeares at La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque


La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque was co-founded by José Rodríguez and Margarita Martínez in 1978. The idea for the company started in 1977 when Rodríguez workshopped a Lorca play (in Spanish) with local actors who had not had training. For several years, the company served as a training ground and community theater.[1] It grew to become a professional repertory company, staging classics in Spanish and in English, and encouraging new work by New Mexican playwrights. The company closed in 2005.


In 1985 David Richard Jones directed Macbeth: A Modern Mestizo Story Set In Central America for La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque.[2] For more on this show, see my interview with Jones here


In 1993, Ramón Flores staged The Merchant of Santa Fe, with Shylock as a converso. The play was 10% in Spanish,[3] and according to Marissa Greenberg, it engaged “histories of theater and culture that reach beyond the borders of New Mexico.”[4]


The 1993 The Taming of La Shrew by Will & Company in Los Angeles starred three of Margarita Martínez’s children: Benito, Patrice, and Benita. They started their careers at La Compañia. Benito went on to star in the television series, The Shield, and has appeared in numerous television and film projects. Patrice and Benita played the sisters in the 1986 film, ¡Three Amigos!


For an early history of La Compañía:

Susan McCosker, “La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque,” The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 27, No. 2, Grassroots Theatre (Summer, 1983), 50-60.


For a history after the company closed:

Marcos Martinez, “La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque: Community Development Through an Actor-Centered Theater,” Expressing Nuevomexicano Creativity, Ritual, and Memory, ed. Phillip B. Gonzales, Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2007. 87-114.






[1] Susan McCosker, “La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque,” The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 27, No. 2, Grassroots Theatre (Summer, 1983), 50-60. 51.

[2] Jones later directed the 2014 semi-bilingual Midsummer for The Vortex Theatre set in 1850s New Mexico.

[3] Elizabeth Klein and Michael Shapiro, “Shylock as Crypto- Jew: A New Mexican Adaptation of The Merchant of Venice,” World-Wide Shakespeares: Local Appropriations in Film and Performance, ed. Sonia Massai, New York: Routledge, 2005. 31-39. 35.

[4] Marissa Greenberg, “Rethinking ‘Local’ Shakespeare: The Case of The Merchant of Santa Fe,” The Journal of the Wooden O, Vol. 12, 2012, 15-24. 15.

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