Theater with a Social Message 'Hard, Strong' Characters in Latest Production of Spanish Language Theater

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 5, 2008 | Go to article overview

Theater with a Social Message 'Hard, Strong' Characters in Latest Production of Spanish Language Theater


Byline: Elena Ferrarin eferrarin@reflejos.com

Rosario Vargas falls in love each time she plays a new character onstage.

Every time, she also knows there is more love to come.

"Every time we tackle a piece, for me in particular that moment is a great love, she said. "But I can never say its my last love."

Vargas is the founder and artistic director of Aguijon Theater, the only local theater specifically dedicated to performing bilingual and Spanish-language works. Located in the west side of the city, the small, intimate theater stages about three productions per year.

Currently, Aguijon is playing "Hasta Los Gorriones Dejan Su Nido" ("Even Sparrows Leave Their Nests"), an adaptation of Tennessee Williams one-act play "The Strangest Kind of Romance." The play is a snapshot in the life of a Mexican immigrant who comes to Chicago from California in search of work. He rents a room from an Argentine landlady whose sick husband is bedridden and who showers the immigrant with unwelcome advances.

Disconnected from everyone and feeling like a shell of his old self, the immigrant pours all his yearning for human contact onto an alley cat, whom he names Valentina.

Vargas plays the character of the landladys sister-in-law, a hard-edge woman who is going blind after years of hard work in the dry cleaning business. Filled with rage and loneliness, she goes on drunken rants against the injustices of the world, but also, touchingly, shows the most compassion and understanding for the immigrants condition.

"These hard, strong characters, like alcoholics and people who have a lot of problems, are always challenges for actors," Vargas said. "Among all her words, (my character) says a lot of truths."

Theater is, first and foremost, social commentary, and choosing to perform theater in Spanish in an English-speaking country can even be seen as a political choice, said Vargas, who established Aguijon Theater in 1989.

"As the Latino population grows, there are different kinds of people who come (to the theater)," she said. "At first there werent that many people interested, but now there are even people who speak English and are interested in Spanish-language theater, and people who want to learn Spanish."

During the last two decades, the productions of Aguijon have included "El Despojamiento," by Argentine Griselda Gambaro, "El Sol Subterraneo" by Colombian Jairo Anibal Nino; "La Chunga" by Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, and "La Lujuria Segun Ramiro" by Uruguayan Dino Armas.

"There are a lot of immigrants in todays day and people in general who dont know our own culture because of lack of education," said longtime Aguijon actress Alba Guerra, a native of Argentina. "Through theater you can learn a lot of things."

Guerra, who in the current play has the role of the landlady, said that she has acted both in English and in Spanish, but she feels she is at her best when she acts in her native language. "It is not easy to make it in this profession," said Guerra, who also performs as a tango singer at different venues in Chicago. "But I feel very good about what I do. I feel a lot of responsibility to do it right.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Theater with a Social Message 'Hard, Strong' Characters in Latest Production of Spanish Language Theater
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.