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Latin American Theatre Today conference and festival to be held at Virginia Tech


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 13, 2008 – The seventh Latin American Theatre Today conference and festival will take place March 26 to 29 at Virginia Tech.

Scholars from around the world will come together with dramatists, directors, and performance groups from Latin America and the United States to engage in scholarly debate and to explore and enjoy Latin American and U.S. Latino theatre. All performances and plenaries are free and open to the public.

The conference has been organized by Jacqueline Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences , who has not missed a conference since the first one was held in 1982 at the University of Kansas.

A scholar and professor of Latin American theatre, Bixler notes that the general focus of the conference will be the question of the term itself – "Latin American theatre” – and what that rubric has come to mean in cultural, political, and geographical terms.

“The objective is to erase artificial regional and national frontiers, incorporate theatre people working in many regions, and in different languages; and at the same time channel the dialogue toward some of the larger cultural issues.” said Bixler. “Those issues include translation, adaptation, migration, and the effects of globalization on cultural identities.”

Festival highlights include a reprise of María Irene Fornes’ play Abingdon Square by the Virginia Tech theatre arts department on Wednesday, March 26, 7:30 p.m., in the Squires Studio Theatre. On Thursday, there will be two events in Haymarket Theatre. At 7 p.m., ¡¿Quién te entiende?! will be performed by Seña y Verbo/Theatre of the Deaf from Mexico City. This will be followed at 9:30 p.m. by a short play titled ¡Se formó la rumba!

Talks, readings, and plays will continue throughout Friday and Saturday, both on-campus and at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg.

That schedule includes:

Friday, March 28

  • Dramatic reading: Quince para cuarenta, written by Claudia Barrionuevo, Costa Rica
    2:30 p.m., Drillfield Room, Inn at Virginia Tech (duration 1 hour)
  • Talk and reading: El grito del Bronx, Migdalia Cruz (New York)*
    5 p.m., Lyric theatre, College Ave., downtown Blacksburg (duration 1 hour)
  • Volvió una noche, written by Eduardo Rovner, Argentina, and performed by students from the Tec de Monterrey, Mexico
    7 p.m., Haymarket Theatre, Squires Student Center (duration 75 min.)
  • La culpa la tuvo el tranvía, written and directed by Cristina Merelli, Argentina Recipient of the I Premio de Teatro George Woodyard
    9:30 p.m., Haymarket Theatre, Squires Student Center (duration 1 hour)


Saturday, March 29

  • Dramatic reading: Hurricane in a Glass, written by Kimberly del Busto and directed by Jason Ramírez (Dos Alas Theatre, New York)*
    3 p.m., Lyric Theatre, College Ave., downtown Blacksburg (duration 1 hour)
  • Dramatic reading: Parrita y sus verdugos, written by Guillermo Schmidhuber, Guadalajara, Mexico
    4:30 p.m., Lyric Theatre, College Ave., downtown Blacksburg (duration 45 min.)
  • Quisimos tanto a Lydia, written and directed by Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya and performed by Casa Cruz de la Luna, Lajas, Puerto Rico
    7 p.m., Haymarket Theatre, Squires Student Center (duration 1 hour)


Events marked with an asterisk (*) will be in English. Read more information regarding performances, plenaries, workshops, conference papers and sponsors.

This festival is sponsored by multiple offices and programs at Virginia Tech, including the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the Departments of Theatre Arts; Foreign Languages and Literatures; and Interdisciplinary Studies. It is also a recipient of a Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series grant.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of Apparel, Housing and Resource Management; Communication; English; Foreign Languages and Literatures; History; Human Development; Interdisciplinary Studies; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; ROTC; Science and Technology in Society; Sociology; Theatre Arts; the School of the Arts; and the School of Education.