The cool black interior of Studio 4 swelled with the sound of Spanish poetry and song on Sunday night with the Spanish Theater Club’s performance of “Si Cae España”, an original composition of existing poetry and songs about the Spanish Civil War.
The Spanish Theater Club, a recently formed MU organization, seeks to broaden Columbia’s horizons by performing in-person plays entirely in Spanish. His very first production, “Si Cae España” – meaning “If Spain Falls” – details the historic struggle against fascism in Spain.
The cast of the play was made up of a mix of seasoned actors from MU’s theater program who were relatively unfamiliar with Spanish and a few novice actors who were native Spanish speakers, with some crossover between the two.
Gehazi Whitehurst, an MU theater student and cast member, explained some of the challenges of performing in a foreign language.
“Even if you translate it, sometimes it doesn’t translate exactly what it is in English,” Whitehurst said. “As an actor, you have to know what your character does and what drives him, and it’s a little harder to dissect a script entirely in Spanish.”
The show’s director and author, José Luis Muñoz-Muela, adapted the one-act show from existing poetry and music by artists such as Octavio Paz and Miguel Hernández.
For Muñoz-Muela, the most powerful line in the piece is the verse that gives the show its title.
“Spain did indeed fall, so it’s all about this rhetoric ‘What happens if Spain falls? “”, Did he declare.
Muñoz-Muela said he hopes the Spanish Theater Club will expose audiences to a rich world of art and theater that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience.
“I hope the public will first learn about the Spanish Civil War, because it’s a conflict that most people don’t know much about. Most people don’t even know it existed,” he said. declared Muñoz-Muela “Closer to the local, I would like to potentiate the theater in Spanish in particular, but I would also like to open the way to other languages.
Production audience member Abby Uphoff talked about how much the performance resonated with her.
“What struck me was the poetry of the language. Every line was really poetic and beautiful,” Uphoff said. “The Spanish of it all was super interesting. Because it’s a play about the Spanish Civil War, I think the best way to present something like that would be in one’s native language. I think the themes of the play were reinforced by the fact that it was in Spanish.
The Spanish Theater Club aims to present a live show at least once per semester. If interested in seeing shows or participating in future shows, people can email Muñoz-Muela at email@example.com for more information.