The Translator begins with lecturer John Flax and his Spanish-language translator, Gonzalo Carreño. A comedic lecture-performance ensues, taking audiences on a journey through theatrical styles, pointing out that new styles emerge in response to the social and political climates of their time. Soon the once obedient translator, inspired by the flexibility and power of theater, goes rogue transforming the lecture-performance into a moving and humorous conversation about current issues for Latin American immigrants in New Mexico. The Translator calls for theater to resume its role as a mirror of contemporary culture and a continuously evolving creative art form.
The Translator inspires reflection upon issues facing Latino immigrants through a theatrical experience that engages the imagination and the heart. Instead of telling a story about or offering solutions to the complex problem of immigration, the play relies on innovation and surprise to conjure an immediate and intimate experience, stripped of all pretense. The performance demonstrates that theater was intrinsic to movements against repression throughout history, and that it can create systemic change today.
The performance ends with TG’s own theatrical style, which translates family stories into physical gesture. One brave audience member offers a personal story of migration, upheaval or great generosity, which the performers retell eloquently in gesture.
“It was a treat to bring live bilingual theater to Encuentro. For many this was their first experience with live theater, and they loved it. The history lesson, the immigration theme, the quality of acting, and the humor were perfectly combined to shed light on the importance of preserving a public voice to react to the injustices of society.” Andrea Plaza, Encuentro – Albuquerque, NM
“I am inspired by Theater Grottesco's desire to present the bilingual performance to such a diverse audience that often lacks access to high-quality theater.” Meggan Gomez, Working Classroom – Albuquerque, NM