Three college students holding a Worcester State flag stand outside Repertorio Espanol in NYC

Early College Worcester students travel to NYC for Spanish theater performance

November 28, 2022
By: Worcester State University News

Several Worcester State University students hit the road Nov. 20 with associate professor of World Languages Antonio Guijarro-Donadiós to attend a live theatrical performance of Lope de Vega’s “La Dama Boba” in New York City.

The students were part of the university’s Early College Worcester, a dual-enrollment program which offers college-level courses to Worcester public high school students, giving them an opportunity to sharpen academic skills and to experience college life. Their trip was supported by the Latino Education Institute.

This trip was part of Guijarro-Donadiós’s course “Spanish Reader’s Theater and Performance” that gives students the opportunity to approach Spanish dramatic literature through a creative and experiential learning process. The purpose is to enrich the oral, reading, comprehension and literary development skills of the Spanish language through theater. They analyze plays to have a better understanding about today’s issues such as immigration, identity, #metoo movement, bullying, environment, and social media. All the plays studied deal with these topics from different perspectives and historical eras.

The play, which is performed in Spanish and was adapted and directed by Leyma López, is described as, “A wry, gender-defying comedy about two sisters, one educated and one silly, both engaged to marry but both in love with the same man.”

Student Rhiannon Novick observed how the play was funnier and the situations more comical live than when reading the play. “I loved the use of the costumes and their change throughout the play.” she said.

Heidi Landaverde said that the action of the play, including the director’s decision to change the ending, helped bring the centuries-old play to life. She also recalled when the actors walked through the audience, breaking the “fourth wall” and creating an unscripted moment that helped bring the centuries-old play to life.

Yesenia Paulino observed how the play was performed much as it had been in the 17th century, with minimal scenery and each scene was described by the text itself, without any special effects.

Top Photo: Early College Worcester students Rhiannon Novick and Heidi Landaverde, both of Burncoat High School, and Yesenia Paulino of Worcester Technical High School traveled to NYC recently with World Languages Professor Antonio Guijarro-Donadiós to see “La Dama Boba.”

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