To the frustration of those of us looking to attend shows where we don’t have to check our brains at the box office, summer in America has been deemed the season for lighter theatrical fare — the farces and trifles, the storyless composer revues, and the old chestnut musicals. For Spanish speakers, summer is a time for far more thrilling stage ventures worthy of Brecht and Ionesco. Returning for its 28th year with a special focus on the art and culture of Peru, the International Hispanic Theatre Festival is rife with productions that push the boundaries of traditional theater norms. Fifteen plays are scheduled at venues from Miami to the Keys over the next three weeks (only some of which will include projected English supertitles). The productions at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater alone include a quasi-fictional bio-drama influenced by the “living museum” concept (Juan Cristobal), a Kant-inspired allegory about dogs training to be enlisted as elite counterterrorism bomb-sniffers (La Paz Perpetua), a controversial meditation on the worst prison-inmate massacre in Brazil’s history (Salmo 91), and a fragmentary collection of theatrical tapas that satirize the present while looking to the past (Siglo de Oro, Siglo de Ahora).
The fest opens with Los Rios Profundos, a reflection on Peru’s gravitation from ethnically divided country to melting pot, at 8:30 p.m. this Thursday at the Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $30 per show. Call 305-445-8877 or visit teatroavante.com.
July 12-29, 2013