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.