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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Providence Campus hosts Hispanic theater
history talk Feb. 24

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- February 4, 1999 -- From New Mexico to Rhode Island, the history of Hispanic theater in North America from its beginnings to the present will be the subject of a lecture-demonstration on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at the URI Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education. The lecture will be held in the Paff Auditorium at the college,s location at 80 Washington St., Providence. The presentation, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the College, with the support from the International Institute.

The lecturer, Resurreccion Espinosa, is founder and director of Teatro Latino Estudiantil, based at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston.

The talk follows the first Western settlers of New Mexico -- 400 soldiers, 130 of whom had families, wagons and cattle"who, led by Juan de Onate, emigrated from Mexico in 1598. the first European-style plays were performed by these people who recreated their adventures north of the Rio Grande.

The lecture continues describing theater activity in Spanish in California and neighboring states in the 19th century, during the Mexican Revolution, the Depression, in the 1960s and 70s, and continues to the present. Attention will be paid to the advantages of using theater to teach foreign languages, as a means of easing the communication among different ethnic groups, and its value for minority youths.

Sheila Lahijani, a student member of Teatro Latino, will also perform a monologue from a play that the group performed last November. A question-and-answer period will follow.

Currently, Teatro Latino Estudiantil is rehearsing its second play, La importancia de ser macho, (The Importance of Being Macho) which is a continuation of last fall,s play, El noviazgo de Luis Espejo (The courtship of Luis Espejo). Both plays use present-day Providence as a setting and deal with some of the realities of two cultures, the Anglo and the Hispanic, coming together. The theater group is looking for a classical guitarist, and two male actors.

Teatro Latino Estudiantil is a member of The Hispanic Heritage Committee/RI, and its work is funded, in part, by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

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