Vol. xl # 4
Teatro La Fragua
From this theatre emerged huge national artistic talents that, as in an alternative popular training school, gradually found their place in a polarized society without identity in which the ministry of culture understood football more than culture. Some of them eventually became victims of violence, others chose to migrate and others to resist locked in huge ships called maquilas where the pieces that feed global consumerism and denigrate human labor are made.
And yet they all go around the world, or wherever they may be, with the great satisfaction of having emerged from this school that, despite everything against it, bet on culture as a tool for social change and building a new kind of citizenship. Those are the forty years that we celebrate today -- I include myself without perhaps having the right -- a permanent process of teaching apprenticeship which gives the name of Honduras a new meaning in the world and in which the future paints a new hope, even if on the horizon everything seems impossible.
Teatro La Fragua at 40
Teatro la Fragua reached the age of forty among the planks of an old building of the banana company, in the shade of several imposing Ceiba trees that stand majestic guard in the gardens around the building. Two elements that cannot be ignored in the social-anthropological definition of Honduras. From the first element Teatro La Fragua learned and taught Hondurans to feel in their own flesh the impossibility of being a truly free nation when we find ourselves - without even knowing it -- transformed into a kind of political school where the military forces that sowed war in the name of peace in Central America were trained, and in the Ceibas the libertarian worldview of our original peoples who taught us to read the connection between the three lives that we will inhabit throughout our humanity: the underworld, the middle earth (our time) and the sky.
From this background, TLF has been building the artistic season with the firm intention of not leaving out any details of reality under the pretext of being makers of culture. Each work with its own specialty, each specializing in talented actors and actresses and these in turn with unquestionable levels of quality in stage management and production. Those of us who went to the boards these days will attest to what I am saying and they will be able to argue the thesis that in the city of El Progreso and in Honduras in general we are fortunate to have Teatro La Fragua.
The season was an expression of citizen culture capable of generating awareness and initiating processes of popular empowerment. The works and their contents left the critical seed sown in the audience and I have no doubt that after seeing them, those who arrived at the boards emerged better citizens, more committed to territorial sovereignty and above all more belligerent in matters of social surveillance. TLF continues to serve this people, as it has every year for forty years. It has been a voice that, from the point of view of cultural expression, helps to consolidate a more just and equitable society.
And at the end of this article
Embracing forty years of history in three pages is not easy but TLF deserves all the good that can be said of it and for that reason I dare to write these letters that express my affection for this project and the hope that it will continue for many years to come.
The existence, however, of this project depends a lot on what you and I are able to do to keep it alive. Jack Warner already gave us the start and forged the first steps; now we just have to follow. An aging building, an increasingly costly functional structure and a state abandonment in matters of alternative culture put this project at risk. But it's you and me, with what little we have and the sheer will that we have left, who can sustain it. Sometimes it's just a matter of going to shows, buying your ticket and putting something in the envelope. Sometimes that which seems so little can sustain this work for other generations.
And never forget it or forget that the slogan remains the same: earth, air, fire, water… we are all together Teatro La Fragua.
See you next time.