tlf news

Vol. xlii #2

July, 2021

Seedbeds of Hope

Luis: Before the pandemic struck, it was difficult to make art in Honduras. That's nothing new:

Gerardo: Since December 2019 we had no formal shows. Of course we had a couple of hors d'oeuvres with the emergency theater but that was just enough to wet our mustaches.

Edilberto: In a period of more than a year we had just had a few shows with children's stories that we presented for the victims of hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Chito: Of course we continued working, concentrating our efforts on radio theater. But we needed the warmth of a live audience.

Gerardo: After a long time of inactivity we went crazy when we fixed the date of our first real show in more than a year. We needed a real presentation, with a complete show, with an audience eager to see us. To be back on stage creating that "magical world" is the most transcendental experience I have had since the pandemic struck, to become completely devoted to the theater and to live lives that are not my own again, rejoices the soul in these difficult times.

Luis: On June 26th teatro la fragua traveled to the city of Tela on the Atlantic coast, accepting an invitation from the "School of Political and Civic Formation" of the Society of Jesus (a program that seeks to generate critical thinking that strengthens the protagonism of young people in their communities).

Gerardo: Once again we experienced what one of those sacred days of presentation was. Just that same week I was talking to the new members of the cast about those sacred days and how to prepare ourselves for them, in order to infect them with the same enthusiasm and respect.

Luis: The play "Ulúa: Episode One" is a staging that began in 2005 as a tool to make the population aware of the vulnerability of the communities along the banks of the Ulúa River and the lack of organization in the face of natural disasters. Today teatro la fragua presents it as "Ulúa: Episode Two", contextualizing it in the context of the recent events produced by storms Eta and Iota.

Edilberto: "Ulúa" is a collective writing which touches on themes such as the Popol Vuh, the true origin of the name of the municipality of El Progreso, the course and source of the Ulúa River, the United Fruit Company and the problems caused by the deforestation of the banks of the Ulúa River, motivating the public on how to prepare and organize to minimize the damage caused by the overflowing of the river.

Gerardo: As usual, the night before we had to sleep early to rest as much as possible and replenish all the energy burned in the week's rehearsals. We started the day off on the right foot thanks to a nice gesture from one of our debutant actresses who prepared breakfast for the entire cast, including the director and the technician.

Nery: Everyone was happy on the road and very excited that we were returning to perform after such a long time.

Luis: We arrived at the place with the help of GPS. It was a big space whose perimeter fence protected a coconut tree plantation. The improvised stage was the simple porch of a house that had previously served as a botanical clinic.

Edilberto: We were all very anxious to perform.

Luis: The cast began to set up. Chito was arranging the wardrobe while Gerardo and Nery were organizing their props. In the background Edilberto could be heard tuning his guitar, while nearby a loud speaker could be heard inviting the neighbors to enjoy a soccer game.

Gerardo: Curtain time was approaching. Nerves were running through everyone's body; we tried to clear them with our traditional exercises to be physically and mentally prepared for the play.

Luis: About 50 young people were entering the place, distancing plastic chairs in different parts of that patio. A mango tree offered a pleasant shade.

Edy (to the audience): Today's presentation is called "Ulúa: Episode Two, a play that makes an energetic call to the communities to organize themselves in the face of natural disasters. We hope you enjoy it!

Gerardo: After Edy's usual pre-presentation, there was a shout that made everyone's skin crawl: "Long live teatro la fragua! We went out on stage euphoric, to chew up the stage and the audience.

Nery: It was a unique experience in my life; at the same time I was returning to what I love to do most, which is acting.

Gerardo: The 70 minutes of the show went by so fast that it felt like seconds. By the time we realized it, we had finished and were being flooded with applause. There were no more than fifty people, but we couldn't have asked for a better audience for the debut of this play.

Luis: Amid applauses each one of the spectators began to stand up; the presentation had come to an end and the response was euphoric.

Nery: Everyone was happy on the road back and very excited that we were returning to performances after so long. It has been one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in my life. After going through difficult times we have returned to the happiness of what it is to do theatre. teatro la fragua continues to fight and move forward in the face of all kinds of adversity. Thanks to all our supporters for keeping the dream of teatro la fragua alive. You and we are teatro la fragua.

Edilberto: Long live teatro la fragua and long live all the audiences and people who support us!

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