What happens when you have a dream that you’re watching a Henley Street Theatre play and all the actors are speaking in Spanish?
If you’re Rafael Seligmann, Board Chair of the Henley Street Theatre, you wake up, call Ana Ines King of The Latin Ballet of Virginia and plan a day-long celebration of Latin American music, theatre, literature and dance.
On November 3, I’ll be part of Dame Tu Voz(Give Me Your Voice), a free, one-day festival to be held at Centenary United Methodist Church (411 E Grace St.) from 1 – 9 pm. Here’s why you should go.
First, it’s a bargain if you’ve got kids. Free family-friendly things happen all afternoon: food, music, art, flamenco demonstrations, puppet making and salsa lessons, to name just a few highlights.
But don’t worry; nobody is left out of the fun. At 4 pm the event starts to take a more adult tone. It begins with readings of favorite Spanish-language poetry.(Want to share one? Call (804) 307-5343 to sign up.)
My performance is at 5 pm. I’ll be reading a short selection from my YA novel, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind) and talking about magical realism and transformation.
Afterward, we can enjoy some food and downtime together before the evening offers up truly refreshing fare for theatre fans. (This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Henley Street is already known for its free and innovative Bootleg Shakespeare series.)
For $10, you get to see two fantastic one-act plays. The Marvelous Pageant is a comedy by Miguel de Cervantes (yep, as in the Don Quixote author). It’s a slapstick comedy written in 1605 — a spin on the Emperor’s New Clothes for adults. It will be performed two ways: as a short staged reading en español and later, in English. (It’s a 15-minute performance, so don’t worry about feeling lost in one language or the other.)
The main piece, however, is Rappaccini’s Daughter, the only play written by Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz, which was based on a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It’s a mad scientist story of sorts. A botanist raises his daughter in their garden, feeding her only poisonous plants until she becomes a beautiful woman who brings death to anyone who touches her. Enter a young lover. (Uh-oh.)Hawthorne killed off the young man in his original, but Octavio Paz had magical realism in his pocket, and we get another ending entirely. The play will be performed (in English) inside the beautiful church sanctuary. It features an extended dance sequence duet by Ana King and flamenco virtuoso António Hidalgo.
Por favor…spread the word and join me on Nov. 3.
Purchase your tickets here.
See you then, muchachos!