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UPR-Rio Piedras' Traveling Theatre presents La Gatomaquia at Las Huellas de la Barraca 2009 in Spain

The Traveling Theatre (Teatro Rodante) from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and the Drama Department from the University of Murcia were on tour this summer at Alcalá de Henares, Spain presenting the play La Gatomaquia as part of Las Huellas de la Barraca 2009 tour.

Complete cast of La Gatomaquia (Foto courtesy of Diálogo Digital)
Complete cast of La Gatomaquia (Foto courtesy of Diálogo Digital)

This stage version of Lope de Vega's epic poem is the result of a collaborative work between Spanish professor César Oliva (theatricalization) and Puerto Rican professors Ramos Escobar (arrangements) and José Félix Gómez (music). The production, directed by Gómez, was presented during July across the Iberian Peninsula in cities like Alcalá, Chichilla, Segovia, Pola de Bordón, Quintanar del Rey, Almagro, Baeza, Cáceres, Badajoz, Gata, and Soria.

This is the second time the Traveling Theatre is invited to participate in this event sponsored by Spain's State Society of Cultural Commemorations (SSCC). Las Huellas de la Barraca 2009 (La Barraca's footprints) is a cultural program inspired by one of the most prominent Theater companies in Spain, Federico García Lorca's La Barraca (1932-1936). This program include six theater companies from the Royal College of Dramatic Art (RESAD) and the universities of Alcala de Henares, Granada, and Alicante, Carlos III of Madrid and the Murcia/Puerto Rico collaboration presenting works of Lope de Vega.


La Gatomaquia (1634) is a burlesque epic poem of 7,800 verses with cats as characters (photos Courtesy of Diálogo Digital)
La Gatomaquia (1634) is a burlesque epic poem of 7,800 verses with cats as characters (photos Courtesy of Diálogo Digital)

The partnership between the Drama Department of the UPR-RP and the University of Murcia, gave the opportunity to seven Puerto Rican and six Murcian students to participate from the experience. The UPR-RP provides costumes, set design and utility while the University of Murcia provides housing during the first month; the second month and airplane tickets are sponsored by the SSCC. This year, students participating from Puerto Rico include Yaizamarie Figueroa, Yadilis Barbosa, Eunice Jiménez, Verónica Ortiz, Israel Franco, Milton Cordero, and Jorge Ariel Blanco.


La Gatomaquia (1634) is a burlesque epic poem of 7,800 verses with cats as characters (photos Courtesy of Diálogo Digital)

Created on 1946, and touring with the emblematic carromato (covered wagon that unfolds to form a portable stage) the UPR traveling theater was inspired on the old traveling theaters in Italian commedia dell'arte, and Federico García Lorca's theater group La Barraca. On 1976, after thirty years of presentations the carromato began to deteriorate, finally ending on University grounds. Despite the loss of the carromato, the spirit and essence of the Traveling Theatre live on with the creation of a course with that title; the Drama Department has continued to take drama to schools, parks, and communities.





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