Inaugurated in 2014, Encuentro de las Américas returns to downtown Los Angeles, presenting a variety of Latin American theatre companies and artists from North and South America at the LATC on Spring Street. With the unfortunate demise of FITLA which stunned audiences in the mid-2000s, Encuentro is an important and needed jolt to an eager but largely homogeneous theatre community. Rickerby Hinds’s ‘Dreamscape’ was a highlight of the first festival – a haunting prose poem of a young black woman gunned down without reason by the Riverside police. We may have thought that was an anomaly but we don’t any longer as unprosecuted slaughter continues. This year’s slam dunk is 24th Street Theatre’s deservedly well-traveled ‘La Razón Blindada’ which returns for five performances over three days, one of which has already sold out. Jesús Castaños Chima and Tony Durán reprise their roles as political prisoners in an Argentine hell given one tightly supervised hour a week together in between solitary confinement. Arístides Vargas‘s script and physically virtuosic staging penetrate to heart, bone, and memory.
Other intriguing options include ‘Miss Julia’ by Vueltas Bravas and ‘Las Mariposas Saltan al Vacío’ by Compañía Nacional de las Artes, both of Bogotá. Organización Secreta Teatro of Mexico City brings ‘Quemar las Naves, El Viaje de Emma’ a feminist interpretation of The Odyssey. Most shows will be supertitled in English and/or Spanish. There are sixteen performances and events featuring twenty-five companies and artists along with a meeting of the Latinx Theatre Commons.
Encuentro de Las Américas
Hosted and presented by The Latino Theatre Company
2 November to 19 November 2017